A “traumatized” teacher’s assistant who was brutally beaten by a 270-pound student said she was “overwhelmed” by the support – and denies taking a video game console from the student.
Brendan Depa, 17, is facing a felony battery charge after allegedly assaulting Joan Naydich, 57, at Matanzas High School on Feb. 21.
The teen told police that Naydich, a teaching assistant at the school, took his Nintendo Switch from him, triggering the outburst.
But now Naydich has denied doing this, saying it was “misinformation” and she wanted to “set things right.”
The hulking 6’6′ student was caught on camera viciously beating the ‘humble’ mother of two until she was unconscious.
Joan Naydich, 57, who was brutally beaten by a 270-pound student, has said she is ‘overwhelmed’ by the support – and denies taking a games console from the student
Depa can be named after Florida’s Seventh Court ruling that he would be transferred to adult court and is currently being held on $1 million bail according to court documents.
Naydich has spoken out for the first time since the incident, commenting on a GoFundMe which was set up to support her.
Page raised nearly $60,000, and the teaching assistant said she was “overwhelmed with the idea of the long battle ahead.” Your contributions lessen that burden and I am truly grateful!
“I am hopeful that realizing that this incident has spread far and wide will prevent anyone else from ever experiencing the trauma, physical healing and disruption to everyday life this has caused.
“It is touching to know that so many people care about you. This was certainly not how I saw my son’s senior year play out for our family.”
Depa knocks Naydich to the ground before kicking and punching the unconscious woman at least 15 times in the back and head.
Those convicted of aggravated assault on a Florida school board official could face up to 30 years in prison for the first-degree felony.
Depa has also ordered the court not to contact the teaching assistant and he will appear for his arraignment on March 6.
Brendan Depa, 17, can be named for the first time after the Seventh Judicial Court of Florida ruled he would be transferred to adult court
The mother of two (pictured together) has spoken out for the first time after the incident, commenting on a GoFundMe set up to support her
The student was arrested and taken to Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, before being transferred to the Department of Juvenile Justice
Documents viewed by DailyMail.com show Depa was charged three times in 2019 for the attack this month.
He previously completed a program at the Department of Juvenile Justice. Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly supported the decision to charge him as an adult in the latest incident.
Naydich also wanted to address allegations that she took his playing from him, adding, “For all you keyboard warriors, I just want to set the record straight.” I never took the Nintendo Switch from him.
“I was told by anyone who read or heard otherwise that this was unfortunately misinformation.
“As the process progresses, there will be many updates along the way! Your thoughts and prayers through it all are appreciated more than you know.”
According to the prosecution, Depa “actually and intentionally touched or hit (the victim) against (her) will using a deadly weapon, and/or intentionally or knowingly grievous bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. ‘
Surveillance footage released by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office shows the hulking student speeding toward 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 his game away’
Sheriff Staly said, “This student is just six months short of age 18, and it was a brutal attack on this teacher as well. Fortunately, this did not lead to a fatal outcome.
“This could be a murder we’re talking about.”
Naydich has since been released from the hospital and is recovering at home from the savage beating.
She has a son who attends high school and a daughter who graduated in 2013. Nayditch has worked for Flagler County Schools since 2004 and with Matanzas since 2021.
Surveillance footage released by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office shows the hulking student speeding toward Naydich before launching her across the room, her body flying several feet.
She hits the floor headfirst, knocking 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 assistant before several others rush to drag him off her.
Even after they manage to push him to the ground, he still reaches out his leg to hit Naydich a few more times.
She hits the ground with her head forward, knocking her unconscious. The student immediately begins kicking her before kneeling down to punch her in the head and torso
It took five staffers to restrain and drag the boy away from Naydich’s body as he fought them
It takes five staffers to restrain and drag him away from her body as he battles them.
Depa claimed he would “beat her up every time she took his game” and spat on Naydich as deputies led him away, according to the arrest report.
Bodycam footage shows the student asking officers if he is “going to jail” as they handcuff him inside 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 assaulting him.
According to Fox, there was a school in Flagler County for struggling teens, for students who struggled to function in a traditional classroom environment.
That included those who were convicted of a felony or considered too violent to attend classes on traditional campuses.
But Flagler County voters failed in 2013 to pass a 50-cent property tax to pay for the school.
Sheriff Staly added, “We had a school resource officer assigned to that mini-school, if you will, and it’s been eliminated.
“Maybe this is something the neighborhood should look into.”