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Who is Joan Naydich? Florida teacher's aide viciously attacked by six-foot-six student refuses to help defense lighten his sentence

2023-10-14 18:49
Brendan Depa violently attacked the paraprofessional Joan Naydich after she apparently asked him to stop playing with his Nintendo Switch
Who is Joan Naydich? Florida teacher's aide viciously attacked by six-foot-six student refuses to help defense lighten his sentence

FLAGLER COUNTY, FLORIDA: High school teacher's aide Joan Naydich, who was beaten unconscious by a 270-pound student in February, reportedly has refused to support a lighter sentence for the Florida teen, as per the New York Post.

On February 21, Brendan Depa, then 17, violently attacked the Matanzas High School paraprofessional and pinned her to the floor as she tried to leave a classroom.

He could be seen in the video kicking and punching her in the back and head until she lay on the ground senseless.

Soon, the 6 ft 6 in (198 cm) teen was immediately pulled off her and restrained by the other staff members. Naydich was subsequently admitted to a local hospital for treatment after the assault.

Depa apparently told investigators that he attacked Naydich because she asked him to stop playing with his Nintendo Switch.

As per authorities, the teen reportedly threatened to kill Naydich during his arrest.

Who is Joan Naydich?

Joan Naydich is employed as a paraprofessional at Palm Coast's Matanzas High School. Notably, her son is currently a senior at Matanzas High School, and her daughter graduated from the same high school in 2013.

Although it was initially reported that Naydich had personally confiscated the Nintendo device from Depa, she denied doing so in subsequent interviews.

"I'm hopeful that the awareness of this incident being spread far and wide will prevent anyone else from ever dealing with the trauma, physical healing, and disruption of everyday life this has caused," states the mother-of-two in a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $100,000.

What are Brendan Depa's chances of acquittal?

Initially charged as a juvenile before being tied as an adult, Brendan Depa, now 18, faces up to 30 years in prison for the first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery.

The victim has "shown no interest in mitigating what penalties Depa might face," as per Flagler Live.

Having said that, the teen is set to plead guilty in an attempt to avoid jail time, as per the New York Post.

Before the February attack, Depa already had three battery arrests to his name and had been in a prison fight just last month.

Judge Terrence Perkins, who’s presiding over this case, still has the option of sentencing him as a youth and doling out a penalty as low as probation. The teen's autism diagnosis is likely to affect the ruling.

Depa is slated to issue his plea later this month and will be sentenced after that in a separate proceeding.

What has gone wrong at Matanzas High School?

Matanzas High School has been beset with violence in recent years, as per the NYP.

Earlier this week, on October 9, 11 students were arrested after a fight broke out in a crowded hallway. Deputies and administrators who tried to curb the chaos ensuing were reportedly shoved and punched during the recent incident.

"The lack of respect demonstrated by these students is simply shameful," said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly, adding, "But actions have consequences."

In another violent episode this week, a 16-year-old student was arrested for biting a teacher who tried to stop her from fighting another girl.

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