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Hulking 6ft 6in boy, 17, who viciously beat his teaching aide unconscious is seen shackled and wearing an orange jumpsuit in court for the first time as he’s charged as an adult


A teenage boy accused of punching and kicking his teaching assistant in a row over a Nintendo Switch has appeared in court charged as an adult.

Brendan Depa, now 18 but who was 17 at the time of the alleged beating, was led shackled into court in Florida wearing an orange jumpsuit on Monday to face charges of aggravated battery – a felony.

He allegedly attacked teaching assistant Joan Naydich, 57, at Matanzas High School on February 21. The savage assault was caught on school surveillance cameras.

The 6ft 6in and 270lb student was caught viciously beating the ‘humble’ mother-of-two until she was unconscious, with Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly warning it ‘could have been a homicide’.

In shocking video he is seen knocking Naydich to the ground before pounding the unconscious woman at least 15 times in the back and head.

Brendan Depa, now 18, appeared  before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins at the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center in Bunnell, Florida on Monday

Brendan Depa, now 18, appeared  before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins at the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center in Bunnell, Florida on Monday

Depa, 18, appeared in court in Florida on Monday to face charges of aggravated battery - a felony - after he allegedly attacked a female teaching assistant

Depa, 18, appeared in court in Florida on Monday to face charges of aggravated battery – a felony – after he allegedly attacked a female teaching assistant 

Brendan Depa, now 18, was transferred to adult court in Florida and appeared on Monday

Brendan Depa, now 18, was transferred to adult court in Florida and appeared on Monday

Those convicted of aggravated battery of a school board official in Florida can face up to 30 years in jail for the first-degree felony. The minimum recommended prison sentence is just short of three years.

Depa will be sentenced at the end of January. His own lawyer, Kurt Teifke, sought to have him declared incompetent to stand trial, because he is autistic.

court-appointed psychologist found Depa was in fact competent to stand trial and Circuit Judge Terence Perkins will decided his fate early next year.

On Monday he pleaded ‘no contest’ to the charges against him.  

Judge Perkins could sentence him either as an adult or as a juvenile offender. 

The 6'6' and 270lb student was caught on camera viciously beating the 'humble' mother-of-two until she was unconscious, with Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly warning it 'could have been a homicide'

The 6’6′ and 270lb student was caught on camera viciously beating the ‘humble’ mother-of-two until she was unconscious, with Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly warning it ‘could have been a homicide’

Depa is seen in an orange jumpsuit as he is brought into court on Monday. He is current being held at the Flagler County jail on $1 million bond

Depa is seen in an orange jumpsuit as he is brought into court on Monday. He is current being held at the Flagler County jail on $1 million bond

Naydich has also 'shown no interest in mitigating what penalties Depa might face' and securing him a lighter sentence

Naydich has also ‘shown no interest in mitigating what penalties Depa might face’ and securing him a lighter sentence

Depa’s family had hoped to minimize or eliminate prison time altogether and instead focus probation and treatment for their son, but the prosecution appears to have been unwilling to negotiate. 

Naydich has also ‘shown no interest in mitigating what penalties Depa might face’, according to  Flagler Live

Depa’s defense attorneys could ask the judge for Depa to be sentenced to be less time than the minimum although the judge is not obliged to follow such a request.

Judge Perkins said Depa will either stand trial or face a hearing in which he would hear evidence from witnesses.

Depa would also be given the opportunity to speak along with family members and people at his school. 

He is current being held at the Flagler County jail on $1 million bond. 

‘It’s not easy for an autistic child to be in a cage, but under the circumstances he is doing well,’ Depa’s attorney Teifke told the Daytona Beach News Journal. 

A Florida teacher who was beaten senseless by a 270 pound student has refused to support a lighter sentence for the teen

A Florida teacher who was beaten senseless by a 270 pound student has refused to support a lighter sentence for the teen

The autistic teen was seen on video punching and kicking the educator in the back and head until she lay on the ground unconscious

The autistic teen was seen on video punching and kicking the educator in the back and head until she lay on the ground unconscious

Documents seen by DailyMail.com show Depa was charged with battery three times in 2019 before the attack this month.

He previously completed a Department of Juvenile Justice program. Sheriff Staly supported the decision to charge him as an adult in the latest incident.

According to the state attorney’s office, Depa ‘did actually and intentionally touch or strike (the victim) against the will of (her) and in doing so used a deadly weapon, and/or intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.’

Sheriff Staly said: ‘This student is just six months shy of age 18, and it was also a brutal attack on this teacher. Fortunately, this didn’t result in a fatality. 

‘This could have been a homicide we are talking about.’

Naydich has since been released from hospital and is recovering at home following the savage beating.

Joan Naydich, 57, who was brutally beaten by a 270lb student has said she is 'overwhelmed' by the support ¿ and denies having taken a game console from the pupil

Joan Naydich, 57, of Palm Coast, (pictured with son Morgan) was thrown to the ground and knocked unconscious on Tuesday at Matanzas High School

In surveillance footage, released by the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, the hulking student can be seen rushing up to Naydich before launching her across the room

In surveillance footage, released by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the hulking student can be seen rushing up to Naydich before launching her across the room

Joan Naydich's body flew several feet before she was knocked unconscious. The student had said he would 'beat her up every time she takes away his game'

Joan Naydich’s body flew several feet before she was knocked unconscious. The student had said he would ‘beat her up every time she takes away his game’

She has a son who attends the high school and a daughter who graduated in 2013. Nayditch has worked for Flagler County Schools since 2004, and at Matanzas since 2021.

A GoFundMe for the teacher has raised nearly $105,000, and describes her as ‘humble’ and says she ‘never asks for help’ – adding that she ‘needs love and support during this difficult time’. 

In surveillance footage, released by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the hulking student can be seen rushing up to Naydich before launching her across the room, her body flying several feet.

She hits the ground head-first, rendering her unconscious, with the student immediately kicking Naydich before kneeling down to punch her in the head and torso.

Another woman runs up to the student and grabs his arm, but is unable to pull him off the aide before several others rush to drag him off her.

Even after they manage to push him to the ground, he still reaches his leg out to hit Naydich a few more times.

It takes five staff members to restrain and drag him away from her body as he fought against them.

The mother-of-two (pictured together) has spoken out for the first time following the incident, commenting on a GoFundMe which was set up to support her

The mother-of-two (pictured together) has a son, a senior, who attends the high school and a daughter who graduated in 2013. She has worked for Flagler County Schools since 2004 and has worked at Matanzas since 2021 

It took five staff members to restrain and drag the boy away from Naydich's body as he fought against them

It took five staff members to restrain and drag the boy away from Naydich’s body as he fought against them 

The student was arrested and taken to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, before being turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice

The student was arrested and taken to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, before being turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice

Depa claimed he would ‘beat her up every time she takes away his game,’ and spat on Naydich as deputies escorted him away, according to the arrest report.

In bodycam footage, the student can be seen asking officers if he is ‘going to jail,’ while they handcuff him in the school.

‘For how long?’ the students asked. ‘I don’t know,’ the officer replied.

Moments later he told officers: ‘F**k you, I don’t want to go to jail. I have more important things to do,’ before accusing them of manhandling him.

According to Fox there used to be a school dedicated to troubled teens in Flagler County, for pupils who struggled to function in a traditional classroom environment.

That included those who had been convicted of a crime, or were considered too violent to attend classes on traditional campuses.

But Flagler County voters failed to pass a 50-cent property tax levy to pay for the school back in 2013.

Sheriff Staly added: ‘We had a school resource officer assigned to that mini-school if you will, and that’s been eliminated. 

‘Maybe this is something the district should look at.’



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