Joan Naydich Florida Teacher Beaten by Brendan Depa Over Nintendo Switch Wants Stiff Sentence

A Florida teacher who was brutally assaulted by a 270-pound student in a widely circulated video has reportedly refused to cooperate with efforts to reduce the teen’s potential sentence.

The incident involved Brendan Depa, who was 17 at the time, violently attacking Joan Naydich, a paraprofessional at Matanzas High School. In the video footage, Depa is seen forcefully throwing Naydich to the ground, then repeatedly kicking and punching her in the back and head while she lay defenseless. Staff members eventually intervened to pull Depa away from the victim.

Depa claimed to investigators that he assaulted Naydich because he had been instructed by teachers to stop playing a video game on a Nintendo Switch.

Depa was charged as an adult with a first-degree felony of aggravated battery, which carries a potential prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Despite facing serious legal consequences, Joan Naydich has reportedly chosen not to assist in mitigating the potential penalties that Depa might face in his case.

Initially, Depa had been charged as a juvenile in the case, but the charges were later elevated. Judge Terrence Perkins still has the discretion to sentence him as a youth, potentially resulting in a lesser penalty, such as probation, especially considering Depa’s disabilities, which are likely to factor into the judge’s decision.

Depa, now 18 years old, had previously faced three battery-related arrests.

Flagler Live also reported a recent incident where Depa was involved in a jail altercation.

During his arrest, Depa, who stands at 6-foot-6, allegedly made threats to kill Naydich.

Initial reports suggested that Naydich had personally confiscated Depa’s Nintendo device, but she refuted these claims in subsequent interviews.

Naydich expressed her hope that widespread awareness of the incident would prevent others from experiencing the trauma, physical injuries, and disruption of daily life that she endured. A GoFundMe campaign in her name has raised over $100,000.

Depa is scheduled to enter his guilty plea later this month, with sentencing to follow in a separate proceeding.

Matanzas High School has been plagued by violence in recent years, including recent incidents involving multiple student arrests and confrontations between students and law enforcement and school staff.

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly commented on the lack of respect displayed by some students, describing it as “simply shameful,” and emphasized that actions have consequences. Another incident this week involved a 16-year-old student who was arrested for biting a teacher while attempting to break up a fight between two students.

Chris Morris
Author: Chris Morris

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