In a distressing incident at Matanzas High School in Florida, an 18-year-old student named Brendan Depa was captured on video violently assaulting teacher’s aide Joan Naydich.
The attack showed Depa repeatedly kicking and punching Naydich in the head and back after throwing her to the ground.
The trigger for this violent outburst was Depa’s frustration with his teachers, who had asked him to stop playing a Nintendo Switch video game.
The severity of the assault resulted in Depa facing a first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
Notably, Depa was charged as an adult, despite being 18 at the time of the incident. Joan Naydich has expressed no intention to mitigate the penalties that Depa may face for his actions.
However, there is the possibility that Judge Terrence Perkins could choose to sentence Depa as a juvenile, potentially resulting in a lighter punishment, such as probation.
Depa’s past record includes three previous arrests for battery before the shocking attack on Naydich, who had to be hospitalised as a result of the assault.
Furthermore, Depa’s behaviour continued to be concerning even after his arrest, as reports indicated he engaged in a fight while in jail and allegedly threatened to harm Naydich during his detention.
Initially, it was believed that Naydich had confiscated the Nintendo device directly from Depa, but later interviews with her revealed that she had not done so.
The aftermath of this incident prompted a GoFundMe campaign that has raised over $100,000 to support Naydich, who hopes that sharing her story will prevent others from enduring similar trauma and physical harm.
This incident took place in a high school that has witnessed a significant amount of violence in recent years. Just the week before, a major fight erupted in a crowded hallway at the Palm Coast school, leading to the detention of eleven students.
During the altercation, administrators and law enforcement officers attempting to control the situation were physically assaulted.
Sheriff Rick Staly expressed his dismay at the lack of respect displayed by the students involved in the fight and emphasised that actions have consequences.
Another violent incident this week involved a 16-year-old student who was taken into custody for biting a teacher while trying to break up a fight with another student.
Brendan Depa’s case is scheduled for further legal proceedings, with a plea hearing set for later this month.