St. Cloud police release bodycam of 15-year-old attacking school resource officer

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Police released bodycam video Monday of a fight last week between a 15-year-old student and a school resource officer at St. Cloud High School moments before the boy was arrested.

According to officers, the incident, which occurred at the 2000 19th St. campus on Thursday, Oct. 6, was sparked after Officer Ball attempted to break up a fight between two 14-year-old boys and was subsequently attacked by the 15-year-old student.

Body camera video shows the boy grabbing Ball after he sees him restraining one of the 14-year-old students. Ball and the boy then grab each other and the teen body slams the officer to the ground and pummels him. People can be heard yelling “Stop!” before pulling the boy away from Ball, who then restrains the teen.

School footage also shows the moments leading up to the brawl during which the 15-year-old is seen walking up to Ball, dropping his backpack and trying to pull the officer off another student before a large swarm of people gather around them.

Multiple officers then responded and helped handcuff the teen, who continued to resist arrest before he was tackled to the ground again.

One of the officers can be heard asking the boy, “Why are you acting like this?”

“You’re not slamming him on the floor,” he replies in the video, seemingly referring to the 14-year-old student Ball was seen restraining before he intervened.

Police previously said the teen did this “suddenly and without provocation,” grabbing Ball around the torso and the neck, leading to them both toppling to the ground.

“Today, there was a fight on the campus of St. Cloud High School,” Osceola County school district spokeswoman Dana Schafer said in a statement on Oct. 6. “A student became aggressive and battered the SRO. Multiple law enforcement officers responded, and at least one student has been arrested. A video of the incident is being reviewed for discipline purposes.”

Vice Chair Julius Melendez of the Osceola County School Board called the incident a textbook example of how SROs should react in this situation.

“I think that that training showed up on this tape, so I’m really proud of the work of the task force to ensure that law enforcement is a partner with the schools,” Melendez said.

Melendez created a citizens advisory committee for school safety after an incident at Liberty High School back in January 2021, in which video from law enforcement shows an SRO slamming a student to the ground.

“In that incident, it was the SRO trying to disengage the student from fighting directly, and so when he tried to disengage her, that’s when the incident happened and the student ended up getting hurt,” Melendez said.

St. Cloud Police Department Chief Douglas Goerke also released a statement following the fight.

“Officer Ball was there to prevent two other students from harming each other. What occurred to Officer Ball was despicable and should never have happened,” Goerke said. “We will never tolerate behavior that targets our officers and will hold those accountable at the highest levels.”

The 15-year-old is facing multiple charges for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.

No other arrests have been made as of yet, but police said charges, including battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest without violence, against the two 14-year-old boys will be filed to the State Attorney’s Office.

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