Local News

Chatham student charged with spitting in teacher's drink

Posted March 28, 2012

— A Chatham Central High School student was arrested Wednesday after deputies said he was caught on camera spitting and dumping a foreign substance into his teacher's drink.

Charles Ronald Hart "Ronnie" Aschenauer, 16, of 163 Paw Paw Road in Gulf, was charged with felonious distribution of certain prohibited foods. He was released on an unsecured bond.

Chatham County Schools spokeswoman Beth McCullough said Aschenauer also has been disciplined by the school, but she declined to elaborate.

Aschenauer's parents said late Wednesday that their son has been suspended and that school officials have recommended that the suspension remain in place through the end of the school year.

"It was stupid. He shouldn't have done it. I feel sorry for the teacher. It was a stupid teenage thing," Mark Aschenauer said.

Mark and Jane Aschenauer said their son doesn't even know the teacher involved, but he plans to apologize to him.

The unidentified teacher became nauseated after drinking from a water bottle on Monday, and Maj. Gary Blankenship of the Chatham County Sheriff's Office said security video in the school showed a student spitting and pouring a small amount of lubricant for a musical instrument in the bottle.

"We checked with poison control just as a precaution to make sure that there were no issues, and they gave some advice on the little amount that the teacher had ingested. So, we believe everything is just fine,” McCullough said.

Chatham Central High School sign Parents: Son did 'stupid teenage thing' by tainting teacher's water

Aschenauer found a water bottle in the school auditorium last Friday and dumped some lubricant in it, his parents said. The lubricant is primarily mineral oil, they said.

The incident has created a chaotic atmosphere at Chatham Central High, students said.

"Every classroom you go in, the students are talking about it, the teachers are taking about it. So, you are hearing all these different stories," junior Amy Armstrong said.

Some students chanted "Free Ronnie" as they left school Wednesday afternoon, saying they believe he was being punished too much for a prank.

"He was just kind of showing off. I guess, maybe, just trying to get his name around the school," senior Stone Gaines said, calling Aschenauer a good guy who fell in with the wrong crowd.

"I just felt bad for him that he got caught up in all that stuff, doing stupid stuff,” Gaines said.

Armstrong said she thinks Aschenauer deserves the punishment he gets.

"That's just a stupid thing to do," she said.

A year ago, a student at Leesville Road High School in Raleigh was suspended and charged with assaulting a school employee after putting hand soap in his teacher's soft drink.

Authorities said Aschenauer likely would be placed on probation if convicted of the low-level felony.


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  • shortcake53 Mar 30, 2012

    CCHSrep, some of us are retired and have earned our right to time spent the way we please, and yes, I am very proud. Lets hope one day you get to say the same thing.

  • Unknowncchsgraduate Mar 30, 2012

    I went to and graduated from CCHS. I have to say I am so humiliated to look back at my high school and see the arguments given. Look Ronnie should of never did what he did. It was immature and irresponsible. I am just glad to see that the teacher,was not sent to the ER. Now seeing how he did not go to the ER, The CCHS should deal with the problem. Please quit putting him down, in God's eyes we all are equal.

  • CCHSrep Mar 30, 2012

    To the comment asking "why the students were on the computers during school and not doing school work?", we do have a lunch break as do all schools in the country. But the real question is why are all of these adults taking time out of their job to be harassing a bunch of high school students? This shows how immature today's work force is and is probably the main cause of today's messed up economy... How pitiful. Good example of what we should grow up to be. Y'all must be so proud.

  • iknowmyschnitzel Mar 30, 2012

    I'm sure Nathan Lowry's offenses were just practical jokes. Looks like Ronnie's defender will have his day in court as well. Hope his football career can carry him.

  • Ambygirl Mar 30, 2012

    shortcake53-- excellent point! 100% agree

    Rico-- what do you mean where were the teachers?? If you look at the video, the teacher was out of the room, could have been a bathroom break, could have been monitoring the hall as part of his duties, could have been any number of reasons. Your point? It makes no difference, this kid committed a felonious act and was wrong! You are condoning what he did??? What mentality do you have?? That of a 12 year old??? Sure sounds like it....

  • Rico Mar 30, 2012

    I don't blame this kid...he made a stupid mistake..my question is,by reading "carolinenicole7" comments and this kids actions, where were the teachers? What are they doing? oh..water cooler political session time...

  • shortcake53 Mar 30, 2012

    Caroline, you may want to get a refund on your education, since you have NO punctuation or capital letters in your entire rant, also your spelling is horrid. I shutter to wonder what kind of job you hold down, since being illiterate would be a setback. You may THINK your all grown up, but let me assure you, you are nowhere close. As for Ronnie, let him spit into your drink or add anything else he chooses that may be "funny", then get back to me on how you feel about it.

  • Ambygirl Mar 30, 2012

    carolinenicole7 you need to spend some of your money on getting a real education. Meaning, go to school and learn proper english and grammar. By the looks of your post, you haven't learned much in that department. And I have a very, very hard time believing a word you have written based on just that. I know plenty, plenty of people that live 'in the sticks' as you put it and are much more educated than you have proven yourself to be.

    As for your buddy Ronnie, maybe you can give some of your money to his parents for bail since you think so highly of him and his antics!

  • carolinenicole7 Mar 30, 2012

    let me tell yall somethin! first like everyone is sayin if you dont know ronnie dont say nuthin bout him and second dont yall dare tell me i dont pay for my own school cause im 18 and i been workin my butt of for eveything i got since i was 12 and i pay my dagum tax money for my school too and yes ronnie made a mistake and he should be punished but yall caint dare bring anythin other than the fact that he is a teenage boy who made a mistake cause yall dont know him and yall just make assumptions bout him just because he lives back here in the sticks with us and im sure yall have made mistakes too growin up maybe not the same ones and maybe you didnt get caught but lets not forget we aint god we are human and we all make mistakes

  • agglover Mar 30, 2012

    I know this kid and yeah he's an okay CHILD. You can not excuse what he done, he knew what he was doing was wrong and it could of potentially made someone sick. He knows right from wrong. As far as them showing his pic. on the news , whatever they decide to do in trial he will be considered an Adult that's why.