Sheriff releases video of Spruce Creek student's confrontation with deputy

Chitwood commends deputy for restoring order, protecting students

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Sheriff Mike Chitwood released surveillance and body camera video from a Volusia County high school incident last Friday between a student and a deputy during which the deputy allegedly slammed the student to the ground to restrain him.

In the video released Tuesday a Spruce Creek High School staff member is seen talking to the student and walking forward, as the student backs up.

Deputy Jim Moore intervened after the argument escalated to "threats and aggressive behavior from the students involved," according to a statement from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office about the incident.

One of the school administrators said the student said he would "drop" him and another staff member, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Jim Moore's body camera shows him entering the cafeteria as students are converging on the teen and staffer.

"Walk away now, walk away," Moore says to the student.

"Come on bud, leave, leave, leave," the deputy says, then the video then cuts to the student on the floor, face down and the deputy is placing handcuffs on his hands.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the student faced the deputy and lifted his arms in a fighting stance when the deputy grabbed him. The video was briefly knocked out, when Moore's body camera cord was knocked loose, deputies said.

After placing him in handcuffs, the deputy walked the student to another room and tried to get him to calm down, according to his body camera video.

"When you ball up your fists..." the deputy says and gets cut off by the student.

"I didn't even do nothing though," the teen says.

"OK, deep breathes, deep breathes" Moore said. "I'm just trying to talk to you. I'm trying to get you to calm down."

After the incident, school officials said the campus was placed on a partial lockdown and Port Orange police were called to campus to restore order.

On Tuesday, Chitwood said he stood behind his deputy's decision.

"Deputy Moore saw a volatile situation headed out of control, and he took quick action to stop it. It worked, and no one was injured," Chitwood said. "I commend him for restoring order to a potentially riotous incident and protecting the staff and students at Spruce Creek High School."

Chitwood added that he wants people to look at both sides of the incident.

"I wish those who are scrutinizing this deputy’s decision would apply some of the same scrutiny to the actions of the juvenile defendants who created this situation in the first place," Chitwood said.

Three students were charged with creating a campus disruption. Two also face assault charges on a school board employee, and one is charged with resisting arrest without violence.

All three are juveniles and will not be named. A standard use of force review is underway, Chitwood said.

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