15-year-old arrested after attacking St. Cloud High School resource officer, police say

Officer was attempting to break up fight between 2 students, the department says

Generic image of police lights. (pixabay)

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – A 15-year-old student was arrested Thursday after attacking a resource officer at St. Cloud High School who was trying to break up a fight between two boys, according to the Osceola County school district.

Police said the incident occurred at the 2000 19th St. campus when a school resource officer was attempting to break up a fight between two 14-year-old boys. A 15-year-old boy then approached Officer Ball and grabbed him around the torso, leading to them both toppling to the ground, according to the department.

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The student then “became aggressive and battered the SRO” as he continued to resist and fight, a school district spokesperson said in a statement.

Police said bystanders were able to assist and bring the boy under control and neither Ball nor the 15-year-old were injured during the incident.

“Multiple law enforcement officers responded, and at least one student has been arrested. A video of the incident is being reviewed for discipline purposes,” said Dana Schafer, public information officer for Osceola County Public Schools.

St. Cloud Police Department Chief Douglas Goerke said he was aware of the video of the fight circulating social media and called what he witnessed “extremely disturbing.” He added that the student grabbed Ball by the neck without provocation before slamming him to the ground.

“To be clear, the incident Officer Ball was dealing with did not involve the student that was arrested. 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.”

He further expressed the pride he feels for the department’s school resource officers, like Ball.

“They truly care about our students and show the highest poise & compassion. Officer Ball is the epitome of professionalism and has been at St. Cloud High School for the past twelve years. The outpouring of support for Officer Ball on social media has been amazing. We will continue to work closely with our partners at the Osceola County School District to ensure our students’ safety while on campus,” Goerke said in the statement.

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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