Details about the roles of Primary School Principal Rick Cohen and guidance counselor Karl Parker in subduing a man as he stabbed his former girlfriend at the school entrance Wednesday morning emerged a day after Superintendent Laura Morana told reporters that no faculty or staff members at the school were “involved in” the incident.

The school also sent students home that afternoon with a letter informing parents that the incident “did not affect any of our faculty/staff or students.”

Both statements were made after Morana spoke to Cohen about his actions and those of guidance counselor Karl Parker in subduing the assailant, Morana told redbankgreen last night.

She defended the statements as accurate and not misleading, and added that “at no point were [Cohen and Parker] in any danger.

“They wanted to help and take some action, but no, they were not in any danger, not at all,” she said. “No one was in danger of any kind at all — no, no.

“Mr. Parker and Mr. Cohen clearly felt that this was the most appropriate action that they needed to take at that moment until the police officers arrived, and that happened very quickly, from what I understand.”

“They themselves did not view themselves to be in any danger at all,” Morana said.

A report in today’s Asbury Park Press describes Cohen running outside to the school entryway shortly before 9a in response to calls for help.

From the report:

“This man was on top of this woman, stabbing her,” said Cohen, 34. “I really felt, at that moment, if I didn’t do something, she was going to die.”

The article says Cohen told the man to stop hurting the woman. When the assailant ignored him, Cohen and Parker “circled around [Jorge] Vargas Mancilla, who was kneeling next to the victim. When they had the chance, Cohen said he grabbed Vargas Mancilla’s arm and took the knife out of his hand, then Parker knocked him down and held him until police arrived,” according to the Press.

Citing unnamed school officials, the Press reported that, “at one point, Vargas Mancilla came at both the principal and guidance counselor, Karl Parker, 45, with the kitchen knife,” but neither was injured.

Cohen, who gave an interview and posed for photos for the Press, declined to answer questions from redbankgreen yesterday afternoon, referring all inquiries to the police.

Even before the Press article appeared, Morana said, Cohen had already regretted speaking to the Press reporter, MichelLe Sahn, and was reluctant to talk further about the incident.

But Morana repeatedly said that, based on her discussions with Cohen and others immediately after the incident, she felt comfortable in saying that no school staffers had been involved in or affected by the attack.

“They just felt that they came out to assist,” she said. “Obviously, something was happening, they weren’t quite aware of what it was, and they wanted to be able to support the woman, hopefully, though their conversation with this man. But as soon as he saw that the moment was appropriate, Mr. Cohen acted on his instincts and reactions, and he took action, and so did Mr. Parker.

“So they speak about it not in a way that they feel they themselves were in any danger at all.”

“When I said no one was involved or affected, I meant it in the sense that the man wasn’t attacking any of our teachers, staff members or students,” she said. “Our staff members were responding to this situation that unfolded right on the grounds. That’s what I meant.”

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