HUNTERSVILLE – A Bradley Middle School teaching assistant was charged with assault after police said she slapped a special-needs student when she got frustrated with the child.

The Huntersville Police Department arrested Maureen Coello, 46, after she allegedly slapped the student across the face Jan. 19 in the cafeteria near the end of the school day as children were waiting for the bus.

Coello got angry after she asked the student to stop touching or moving a bookbag that was on the table, but the student ignored her requests, police said.

A school employee who allegedly saw the slap reported Coello to a school resource officer.

Officers arrested Coello at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administration building in Uptown Charlotte Friday, Jan. 20, where she was meeting with school district officials. Coello resigned from her job as a teaching assistant with the school system’s exceptional children program that afternoon, leaders said. She is charged with one count of simple assault on a handicapped person, police said.

She has been employed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for three years and has worked at Bradley Middle since June 2009.