Fla. student to be charged as adult after attacking staffer who took Nintendo Switch

A 17-year-old Florida student caught on video beating a female school staffer unconscious after she confiscated his Nintendo Switch video game device will be charged as an adult — as it emerged that he has previously been arrested for battery three times.

The 6-foot-6 teen has been named for the first time as Brendan Depa after the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court ruled that he would be tried as an adult with aggravated battery on a school board employee, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

The first-degree felony is punishable by up to 30 years behind bars, according to the outlet.

Depa “did actually and intentionally touch or strike (the victim) against the will of (her) and in doing so used a deadly weapon, and/or intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement,” the State Attorney’s Office said, according to Click Orlando.

Horrifying video captured the 270-pound student attacking Joan Naydich, a paraprofessional at Matanzas High School in Palm Coast, stomping on her and punching her 15 times on Feb. 21.

“The student stated that he was upset with the victim because she took his Nintendo Switch away during class,” the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Several people rushed to help the defenseless woman, who was taken to a hospital.

According to a statement posted by Naydich’s daughter on a GoFundMe account, she has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

“This incident has reached areas of the world I never thought possible, with love and support pouring in from all,” the statement said.

“As her daughter, it’s heartwarming to see the community rally behind her recovery, near and far. Please keep my mom and brother in your thoughts during this time,” it adds.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Depa was arrested three times for simple battery in 2019, when he lived in Riverview in Hillsborough County, where his mom is an occupational therapist, Flagler Live reported.

The arrests were categorized as first-degree misdemeanors.

After his first arrest in March that year, he was placed in juvenile custody for a few days — but was soon rearrested and admitted to what the state Department of Juvenile Justice refers to as “respite care,” according to the outlet.

He was reportedly held for domestic violence respite care, which the department defines as “When the youth being admitted was screened at the JAC [Juvenile Assessment Center] for domestic violence charges and did not score for secure detention, but is unable to be released to family and would otherwise be held in secure detention.”

Depa was then placed in a diversionary program categorized as “Intensive Delinquency Diversionary Services,” Flagler Live reported.

It was unclear whether the third charge was lodged when he was in or out of juvenile custody, but he completed the department’s programs and appeared to steer clear of trouble until last week’s violence.

The Flagler County school district is not releasing information about the case pending its ongoing investigation.

District spokesman Jason Wheeler told the News-Journal that officials generally finish school board probes within a couple of weeks.

Depa, who lives in a group home, is behaviorally disabled and requires specially designed instruction and related services as a member of so-called “exceptional students.”

The special help they are given at school is called exceptional student education.

If the district recommends to expel Depa, there must be a review to determine “if the action or conduct was a manifestation of the student’s disability,” according to Disability Rights Florida.

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