A 17-year-old Florida high school student who has been charged with attacking a school aide will be tried as an adult.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal identified the Matanzas High School student as Brendan Depa. He faces a first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery and a maximum prison sentence of 30 years if convicted.
Video of the Feb. 21 incident at the Palm Coast school shows the 6-foot-6-inch, 270-pound Depa attacking paraprofessional Joan Naydich and knocking her unconscious.
According to an affidavit, Naydich was hit in the back and on the back of the head about 15 times.
WARNING: Some viewers will find the following video disturbing.
Teacher confiscates student’s Nintendo Switch during class.
Student then attacks her, kicking and punching her, leaving her unconscious. pic.twitter.com/SeDa7vp6k5
— Peter Lloyd (@Suffragent_) February 24, 2023
Depa is in jail on a $1 million bond. His arraignment is scheduled for March 6.
According to WOFL-TV, Depa has previously been involved with the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice. He was charged with battery three times in 2019.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said he supported the decision to try Depa as an adult.
"This student is just six months shy of age 18, and it was also a brutal attack on this teacher. ... Fortunately, this didn't result in a fatality. This could be a homicide we are talking about,” he said.
The sheriff's office had reported on Facebook that Depa attacked Naydich because she had confiscated his Nintendo Switch game console. However, Naydich denied that claim on a GoFundMe page established to support her.
“For all you keyboard warriors, I just want to set the record straight. I never took the Nintendo Switch from him. From anyone that's read or heard differently, I've been told this was unfortunately misinformation,” she wrote.
“Overwhelmed with the idea of the long fight ahead... your contributions are lessening that burden and I'm truly grateful! I'm hopeful that the awareness of this incident being spread far and wide will prevent anyone else from ever dealing with the trauma, physical healing and disruption of everyday life that this has caused,” she wrote.
“Your thoughts and prayers through all of this are appreciated more than you know.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.