On Thursday, an eighteen-year-old student at Homestead Senior High School in south Miami viciously kicked a school resource officer in the face when several students got into a fight and the officer was trying to hold one student on the ground.
According to CBS4 Miami, Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesman John Schuster said five students were fighting during lunch when the school resource officer restrained one of the participants. A man appearing to be a member of the school staff tried to restrain the eighteen-year-old, who first appeared to try to knee the school resource officer, who was kneeling, in the face, then kicked him directly in the face.
NBC Miami reported:
An arrest report says Officer Zapico was breaking up a fight among four students when he was kicked by another student, identified as 18-year-old Shardae Pittman. The initial fight began when a couple of girls confronted the student seen in the video being held down by Zapico. Her mother, Sharnell Lee, identified her as 17-year-old Diamond Braddy. Lee said Pittman was apparently trying to help her daughter. Pittman is seen in the video trying to pull Zapico off Braddy, but was pulled away by a man who appears to be a school employee. She then takes a kick at Zapico’s face.
Sharnell Lee claimed, “One of the girls spit on her face and the other one stomped on her head. When I got here my daughter was put in handcuffs, crying, stating that she was in pain because of the cuffs. I asked the officer what happened, they never told me once what my daughter was charged with. When I tried to have a conversation with the principal he didn’t have any answers for me.”
Fox News reported, “The student doing the kicking was identified as Shardae Yvonne Pittman, 18, who was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and interfering at an educational institution, the Miami Herald reported. She was being held at Miami-Dade County’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on a $5,500 bond, the report said.”
Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, Chief Communications Officer with Miami-Dade County Public Schools released a statement:
Any behavior that endangers the well-being of students and staff at Miami-Dade County Public Schools will not be tolerated, will be handled swiftly, and result in severe consequences. When that behavior involves battery on a police officer, as it did today, offenders will be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Students will also be disciplined according to the Code of Student Conduct, up to, and including, expulsion.
The school district police chief tweeted: “It is a shame that while this officer was attempting to break up a fight and and maintain a safe learning environment, this adult student acted in a cowardly way rather than fall in line with MDCPS values.”