A Florida deputy filmed lifting and body slamming an 11-year-old boy to the ground outside a school ‘did not use excessive force,’ according to St. Lucie’s Sheriff.
In a video filmed on April 9, the child can be seen walking away from a St. Lucie Sheriff’s deputy Diederech Hueck before Hueck runs after him, lifts him into the air, and then throws him onto the pavement in front of Lincoln Park Academy, Fort Pierce.
The footage from the cell phone of a fellow student watching from a school bus shows the law enforcement officer then place himself on top of the child, whose grandfather told WPTV is now undergoing a mental-health evaluation.
Sheriff Ken Mascara said it’s important to know the context of what occurred and the history of the 11-year-old student.
The video of the incident showing the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy taking down the sixth grader outside Lincoln Park Academy in Fort Pierce on April 9 has gone viral
Diederech Hueck was seen lifting up and then throwing the 11-year-old boy to the ground outside school
Mascara said the student had caused multiple disturbances on the day in question, ‘refused to comply with instructions by school staff … and was physically aggressive to staff as well as students’.
‘The deputy did everything he could to defuse the situation,’ Mascara said, as reported by Treasure Coast Newspapers. ‘His use of force fell within the legal, and our agency guidelines.’
Following the incident the Sheriff’s Office said the sixth grader was taken to hospital for a check-up but complained of no injuries and left simply with a Band Aid on his knee.
Sheriff Ken Mascara said his deputy’s use of force fell within legal and agency guidelines
Sheriff Ken Mascara said it’s important to know the context of what occurred and the history of the 11-year-old student and to view the video ‘in context’
Mascara said he didn’t think the deputy used excessive force in the video.
‘I think the context is most important before you watch the video,’ Mascara added.
Mascara said the student is facing charges including battery on a teacher, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct on campus.
The sheriff said the student has a history of violence in school and at home.
‘The student also has a safety plan established by the school that requires that he be escorted anywhere on the school campus by staff, which should lead people to summarize that this kid is a pretty big danger to just about everyone at school,’ the sheriff said.
Hueck has been a school resource deputy for eight years. He spent five years at Fort Pierce Westwood High School and three in his current role at Lincoln Park Academy.
Police reports state he has thrown himself at classroom window and slammed his own head into a wall during incidents at school that day and in February
The sheriff office said the youngster is on a Diversion Program for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a felony. The child has to be escorted around school after sex allegations involving a female student.
The boy had been arrested by the school resource officer for aggravated assault five days prior.
Hueck also arrested him February, after he initially resisted arrest for disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace following an incident where he disrupted a class he was not supposed to be in. During the incident he slammed his own head into a wall.
The child faces aggravated assault charges from a staff member who accuses him of chest bumping him earlier in the Tuesday incident.
He was arrested for assault and battery after Tuesday’s incident as a staff member complained he chest bumped him
Mascara explained that the assistant principal had asked the deputy to follow him after the boy stormed out of the Dean’s office while waiting for a parent to arrive and witness his suspension.
Dean Drummond was absent on the day of the incident.
Police claimed the child was ‘walking with his fist clenched and had an agitated expression on his face. His brows were turned down and he was punching his fist into the palm of his hand’.
They stated he then ‘continued pulling away, twisting and turning his body’.
Deputy Hueck noted in his report that he’d reviewed surveillance videos to confirm several staff members had tried to get the child to comply earlier before he was called in.
Child was arrested for disturbing the peace at Lincoln Park Academy in February and assault with a knife, without intent to kill, in April
Parents and guardians at Lincoln Park Academy were horrified after learning about the incident.
‘If the kid was fighting him back and he felt like he was in some kind of danger, then I could justify his actions, but it didn’t appear to be that way,’ father of twins, General Platt told WPTV. ‘That’s kind of rough to be at a school campus, he didn’t have to slam him down like that.’
Jazmine Arias, whose sister attends the school, said: ‘I would have freaked out if I saw that in person. He’s a kid, I don’t think a little kid should be thrown to the ground like that.’
The school did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Sheriff Mascara also noted the deputy involved had worked for years at a high school nearby and had never reached a point where he needed to handle a situation in such a tactile way, even when putting himself between fighting students.
Sheriff Ken Mascara said Hueck had not been suspended and his actions were justified because the student had been ‘running around the school campus and not responding to any commands by the school staff’
‘Our school resource deputy is very familiar with this student and knows he has a violent history, including possessing weapons,’ Sheriff Mascara said in a press conference last Wednesday.
‘At the end of the day the deputy did everything he could to diffuse the situation, and his use of force fell within the legal and our agency guidelines.’
According to a police report, the boy was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill on April 4 when a 50-year-old female victim complained he was holding a knife in an ‘aggressive manner’ when she visited him at his residence to resolve an argument they’d just had at her home a few blocks away.
He claimed to police that he believed the alleged victim was going to abuse him.
The child was taken to a juvenile detention center and the Department of Children and Families was notified.