A South Florida high school student was caught on cellphone video kicking a school resource officer in the face as he held down another student after breaking up a fight, police said.
The video, which was posted on Instagram and viewed thousands of times, shows the chaos and commotion Thursday at Homestead Senior High School. An arrest report says Officer Zapico was breaking up a fight among four students when he was kicked by another student, identified as 18-year-old Shardae Pittman.
The initial fight began when a couple of girls confronted the student seen in the video being held down by Zapico. Her mother identified her as 17-year-old Diamond Braddy.
Sharnell Lee said Pittman was apparently trying to help her daughter. Pittman is seen in the video trying to pull Zapico off Braddy, but was pulled away by a man who appears to be a school employee. She then takes a kick at Zapico's face.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools said the officer is okay and was not seriously injured.
"(Pittman) was trying to help my daughter out," Lee said. "One girl spit on her and another one kicked her."
Pittman faces charges of battery on an officer and interference of an educational institution, police said. Braddy was released Thursday night from the juvenile detention center.
"She's the victim," her mother said. "Of course she is the victim. Why did the officer have her on the ground the way he did? The officer dragged my daughter and everything. Who was there to defend my daughter?"
Pittman remains in jail as of Thursday night on $5,500 bond. Attorney information was not available.
"It is a shame that while this officer was attempting to break up a fight and and maintain a safe learning environment, this adult student acted in a cowardly way rather than fall in line with MDCPS values," MDCPS Chief of Police Edwin Lopez tweeted.
Miami-Dade school district officials said the students involved will be disciplined accordingly.
"Any behavior that endangers the well-being of students and staff at Miami-Dade County Public Schools will not be tolerated, will be handled swiftly, and result in severe consequences," spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego said. "When that behavior involves battery on a police officer, as it did today, offenders will be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Students will also be disciplined according to the Code of Student Conduct, up to, and including, expulsion."