CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A 13-year-old boy was arrested after authorities say he slammed another student’s head into the lunchroom floor at a Florida middle school last week, causing the boy to be put in a medically-induced coma.
The incident unfolded on Nov. 9 at L.A. Ainger Middle School in Charlotte County.
An arrest report stated that the victim, who had just moved from Haiti, had a “habit of touching people in a friendly way” and that his mannerisms had drawn bullying from students at the school.
Witnesses said the victim went up to a group of people sitting at a lunch table and shook their hands. He allegedly touched the top of the 13-year-old suspect’s head in a non-threatening way. Then the suspect stood up, grabbed the boy by his waist, and dropped him on his head.
The report states that the victim lost consciousness and began convulsing on the ground. While the boy was lying there, the suspect allegedly kicked him in the head, then sat down at the table and ignored him.
School administrators rushed to the victim’s aid and students were told to leave the cafeteria
“We have adequate security, SROs, security guards. There were administrators in the cafeteria at the time this happened. It happened in mere seconds,” school district spokeswoman Claudette Smith told WBBH. “Administration immediately escorted students out of the cafeteria.”.
The boy was flown to a Tampa hospital with life-threatening injuries and placed into a medically-induced coma to undergo surgery.
Authorities said the 13-year-old boy showed no remorse for his actions. The sheriff’s office said the attack was unprovoked and noted that the suspect is a wrestler and is much larger than the victim.
Smith said that the suspect will face disciplinary action in accordance with the student code of conduct.
According to a Facebook post, Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell said the student has an extensive disciplinary history.
CCSO also shared a statement from Sheriff Prummell that reads:
“Last night, the victim in this case underwent emergency surgery. This afternoon, he opened his eyes and was able to respond slowly to requests to move his arms. He is still unable to speak, but doctors are very hopeful we will see improvements as time passes. Please keep this young man in your thoughts and prayers as he still has a long and hard road to recovery ahead of him. Let’s show this young man the power of a united Charlotte County community as we band together in hope and positivity!”
The report said the suspect faces charges of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and disturbing a school function.