A 17-year-old Florida high school student accused of beating a teaching assistant unconscious earlier this month will be charged as an adult.
Brendan Depa, who allegedly assaulted Joan Naydich, 57, after she took away his video game, is facing one count of aggravated battery of a school board official, a first-degree felony in Florida punishable by up to thirty years in prison.
According to the Daily Mail, after examining the circumstances surrounding the February 21 incident at Matanzas High School in Palm Coast, the Seventh Judicial Court of Florida ruled that Depa should be tried as an adult, and held him on a $1 million bond.
The Florida state attorney’s office argued that Depa “did actually and intentionally touch or strike [the victim] against [her] will … and in doing so used a deadly weapon, and/or intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.”
Video footage of the attack shows Depa charging at Naydich, knocking her to the ground. He proceeded to stomp and kick her before punching her numerous times in the upper body and head. It took four people to pry the 6’6 270 lb student off Nydrich, who lay unconscious on the floor.
Naydich was rushed to the hospital and taken care of. She has since been released and is recovering at home.
Following the attack, a GoFundMe was set up to raise money for Naydich “so that she can rest, heal and spend time with her kids without worrying about financial concerns right now.” At the time of writing, over $60,000 had been donated.