The tough takedown of a student at a South Florida school has a security guard facing criminal charges. Just one station spoke to that student and his mother. Karen Hensel with tonight’s 7 Investigates.
Surveillance cameras rolled as a security guard threw a 15-year-old student to the ground at a private school in Pompano Beach.
Student: “He didn’t say anything. He just yanked me.”
That’s the voice of the teenager, who we are not naming, describing how the incident started last Thursday at the Youth Under Construction School.
Student: “I came to school not dressed in uniform.”
Not showing up in uniform landed him in “in-school suspension.”
The security guard was collecting cell phones in the room.
Student: “I was taking it out and my headphones dropped, and then my phone fell, and that’s when he just yanked me out of the chair.”
You see the guard pull the student out of his seat, shove him across the room and into the principal’s office. They stand face to face before the guard puts his arms around him and throws him on the floor.
Student: “He had my jacket squeezing up on my throat where I couldn’t breathe, and that’s when he told me, ‘Are you trying to resist?’ and I said, ‘No, I am just trying to breathe.'”
The skirmish continues near the couch.
Student: “I was trying to tell the principal to call my mom, but then he was just sitting there watching. I just wanted to call my mom, and I was scared.”
He is then brought to the ground a second time.
The video shows the security guard sitting on top of the student.
Meldonise Lane, mother: “I’m a mom first, and I was very, very angry.”
A difficult moment for Meldonise Lane, who arrived a short time later to see her son in handcuffs.
Then, she watched the video.
Meldonise Lane, mother: “My son is saying he can’t breathe while another security guard, a teacher, and the principal is sitting over there looking at them.”
We asked school principal Delvin King, who is seen here sitting at his desk, why he didn’t intervene.
Delvin King, principal: “I thought security was restraining him because of some sort of fight or altercation.”
But King did call police.
Delvin King, principal: “There was too much excessive force used, and that doesn’t stand for my policy or what we stand for here.”
Broward Sheriff’s deputies responded, and the security guard, 25-year-old Alie Joseph, was arrested.
Joseph is charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery and a third charge of openly carrying a firearm.
We wanted to ask Joseph about what happened.
Karen Hensel: “I’m Karen with 7 News. Could we speak to Mr. Joseph?”
We were told he was not home at the time. But Joseph told a deputy the “student was disruptive” and “did not listen to his verbal commands.”
And about that gun he was carrying? His arrest report says, “Joseph is an armed security guard with no license to carry a firearm.”
Meldonise Lane said her son is traumatized.
Meldonise Lane, mother: “He does not feel safe going back because he said no one stepped in to say anything.”
The principal, Delvin King, said he terminated the contract with the security company immediately, and that he has asked the Broward Sheriff’s Office for a school resource officer but is waiting to hear back. Meanwhile, the mom has pulled both of her students from the school.
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