A Rickards High School student becomes the first student in Leon County to be tased on campus. A Leon County school resource officer shot him with a taser Monday as a fight erupted near the gym. Both the school and the sheriff stand by the decision as necessary and appropriate.
Dozens of students gathered to watch a fight outside the gym Monday. Before all was said and done the school resource officer pulled out his taser and shot 17-year-old student Antonio Wright.
Larry Campbell, Leon County Sheriff, says, "The deputy grabbed the young man that was one of the principal aggressors and tried to physically restrain him from the fight. He started fighting the deputy and broke loose from the deputy and went to further assault the assistant principal and the young man he had grabbed. At that point the deputy decided the best course of action was to use the taser."
The student was hit with electric probes in the arm and side and was taken to the hospital to be sure he was ok.
The principal says he has not heard from any concerned parents and is convinced the taser was the right choice.
Pink Hightower, Rickards High Principal, says, "This is the first time that it has been used and hopefully it's the last time it will be used, but certainly, if it's not a situation where it's threatening injury or life threats, things of that nature, certainly it will not be used."
There were extra deputies on patrol at the school Tuesday. The sheriff says department guidelines forbid them from using the taser on anyone under the age of 13 and call for their use only if the student uses physical force when deputies try to restrain them.
Five students, including the young man who was tased, have been arrested and suspended from school in the wake of the melee.
The sheriff tells us there is surveillance video which captures some of the initial fight on camera, but the actual tasing happened off screen.