Santa Clara County juvenile hall counselor charged with assault of teen in custody

A Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall counselor has been charged with assault for allegedly punching a boy and slamming his head against the floor earlier this year, county prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Robert Medellin, who has worked as a counselor for about 18 years, is charged with assault by a public official for the April 14 attack inside a juvenile hall building.

According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, two boys attacked another boy in the common area of the building when Medellin intervened. He took one of the boys, a 17-year-old, to the floor and punched him about a dozen times and slammed his head onto the floor once before handcuffing him.

The attack was caught on videotape, prosecutors said.

The county Probation Department said in a statement that department management contacted the Sheriff's and District Attorney's Offices about the case after learning of it.

"The Probation Department has no tolerance for any abuse of power by its staff," the department said in its statement. "Any use of excessive force against youth is contrary to the Probation Department's commitment to providing safe and excellent care to our youth."

Medellin, a resident of Tracy in San Joaquin County, will be arraigned on the charge at a later date.