The Barbara Goleman Senior High senior who stabbed a junior in the stomach at the school Tuesday did so after the “victim” charged him and struck him several times on the face, and said that he fought back in fear for his life, police now say.
Frank Acosta, 18, has been charged with aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a weapon on school grounds after the fight with 18-year-old Mauricio Padron at about 12:17 p.m. Tuesday, the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department and court records said.
But police said that after the two students had an argument in the cafeteria, Padron waited for Acosta by a stairwell, and after he walked through the door, Padron “gestured by using his hands for the defendant to fight him.”
Acosta tried to leave “but was blocked by students entering the stairwell,” and Padron then charged him, police said in Acosta’s arrest affidavit. As they fell to the ground, Acosta took out his penknife and stabbed Padron several times, witnesses told police.
“The victim was clearly the aggressor in this incident, as captured on video surveillance and corroborated by witness statements,” police wrote.
Acosta said he does not remember stabbing Padron, but told police “that he was being bullied by the victim,” and said “that he was in fear for his life as the victim was much larger than him and extremely aggressive towards him,” police said.
Acosta told police that he did not consider the pen knife, which was in his right pocket beforehand, “as a weapon because he uses it to clean his fingernails.”
He sustained “bumps and bruises to his head, throat, and eyes due to the beating received from the victim,” and was given medical care, police said.
Padron was taken by air to Jackson Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries Tuesday. A Jackson Health System spokeswoman said Wednesday that Padron requested confidentiality, so she could not release any information about his condition.
Acosta is due to appear in court for a hearing on March 8.
A school district spokesperson said Tuesday night that both students have been suspended and will be recommended for expulsion.