Police: Bothell High School teacher was bashed in back of head, his neck ‘zip-tied’

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BOTHELL, Wash. -- Police provided more details Friday into a savage attack carried out on a 63-year-old Bothell High School teacher.

Someone assaulted teacher Calvin Pygott inside his wood shop classroom after school Thursday, and 24 hours later investigators were still at the scene gathering evidence. Detectives say the attacker bashed Pygott in the back of the head with a blunt object and then zip-tied his neck.

“When I heard he got so brutally attacked and left for dead, I couldn’t believe it,” student Christoper Liem said.

Pygott's son-in-law told Q13 News he is thankful another staff member discovered Pygott in time and cut the zip-tie off his neck. Family members say Pygott could have died if that employee wasn’t there to help.

“Time is of the essence in those types of situations; I’m very happy she (the other employee) was around,” Bothell Police Sgt. Ken Seuberlich said.

Family members say Pygott, who was treated at Harborview Medical Center, is recovering at home and is not ready to speak about what happened.

“Thank goodness he is alive -- that's all that matters,” former student Greg Starck said.

Starck added that he was in Pygott's wood shop class last year.

“He was one of my favorites, definitely by far, was so relatable,” Starck said.

So who was behind the attack of the well-liked, longtime Bothell High School teacher?

“Detectives are looking at campus security video,” Seuberlich said.

As investigators looked for evidence both inside and outside Pygott's wood shop classroom, the district canceled classes Friday to protect the crime scene and make sure students and staff were safe.

“I think it was a wise decision for everyone to stay home,” Liem said.

Parents are hoping for a quick arrest so they are not on edge when students have to go back to school next week.

“It’s a little unnerving, we trust the district will make the right decision,” parent Tina Starck said.

The unusual attack shattered the community's sense of security. Many were hoping Pygott will return to his life at Bothell High after a full recovery.

The Northshore School District released a statement that read, in part:

“This is an alarming and highly unusual situation. While the BHS school community faces the greatest impact, the concerns for student and staff safety naturally extend to all Northshore school communities. Our schools are and remain fundamentally safe places for our kids, staff and families.”

Classes resume on Monday and the district is urging all students to wear the color blue to show support for Pygott.

The high school will have extra security on hand as a precautionary measure as well.