A Polk County school counselor is facing charges for allegedly assaulting a law enforcement officer who was investigating a fight between two students.
On Tuesday, Detectives Barbara Marshall and Deanna Higgins went to Ridge Community High School, located at 500 Orchid Drive in Davenport, to interview a victim and a suspect in a battery case.
Detective Marshall was wearing her agency issued jacket with the word SHERIFF on the back and a badge on the front along with her badge on a chain around her neck. She was also wearing her agency issued firearm on the outside of her waistband.
Detective Higgins was wearing her badge on a belt clip and her agency issued firearm on the outside of her waistband.
After their investigation, detectives attempted to take a female juvenile into custody and a tussle between the detectives and suspect started as the suspect tried to escape.
Detectives called for backup units.
A school staff member, Marcus Franklin, entered the room during the tussle.
Marcus interfered with the arrest as he began pushing Detective Marshall away from the suspect.
Marcus then placed himself between detectives and the suspect in an attempt to shield the suspect. As Detective Marshall continued to try and take the suspect into custody, Marcus would repeatedly push her hands away.
Marcus proceeded to tell detectives that they could not arrest the suspect and that it had to be a uniformed officer.
Marcus advised he needed to deescalate the situation and began stroking the suspect’s hair and referred to her as “Baby.”
A Haines City Police Department School Resource Officer and another officer responded as backup and assisted with taking the suspect into custody.
During the altercation, Detective Marshall suffered an injury to her foot.
She was taken to the Heart Of Florida Hospital where it was determined that as a result of the altercation she had suffered a severe sprain and was issued an orthopedic boot.
“Why on earth Marcus Franklin thought it was okay to insert himself into a law enforcement investigation and then place his hands on and shove one of our detectives, is beyond me. He now faces at least two felonies, with more charges pending related to his obstruction of justice. This entire situation could have been avoided if he had assisted our detectives with taking a battery suspect into custody instead of fighting with them and interfering with their investigation,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.