Deputies seek man in attack on North Carolina teacher

RAEFORD, N.C. (AP) Sheriff's deputies in North Carolina have obtained warrants for the arrest of a man charged with attacking a teacher at an elementary school in what authorities said was an act of random violence.

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said in a news release that the warrants charge Michael Lee Nivens, 34, with attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery in connection with the attack earlier this week.

Peterkin said the teacher was seriously injured when a man entered West Hoke Elementary School near Raeford about 5:45 p.m. Monday.

The man entered through a door that was left unlocked for parents who pick up children from an after-school care program. The sheriff said the man asked the teacher about a former school employee and then hit the teacher in the head, face and hands with a metal object.

Advertisement

Nivens and the teacher did not know each other, Capt. John Kivett said Thursday, calling the attack "an act of random violence."

Her name has not been released. Peterkin said she remained in Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville on Wednesday night. Schools spokeswoman Jodie Bryant said the teacher is recovering well.

The after-school program was in another part of the building and there were no children in the room where the attack occurred. No other injuries were reported.

"The attack on this teacher, who faithfully serves our Hoke County kids, was senseless and totally unnecessary," Peterkin said. "We are asking the communities to assist law enforcement in locating this suspect before he causes harm to someone else."

Peterkin said a cash reward is being offered for information leading to Niven's arrest. He did not say how much money is being offered.

The sheriff did not immediately return a phone message Thursday seeking more information about the attack.

Extra officers are monitoring the school, Peterkin said.