A teaching assistant who was brutally bashed by a 122kg student has denied her teenage attacker’s claims that she sparked the classroom assault when she confiscated his Nintendo Switch.
Joan Naydich, who works at Matanzas High School in Florida, made the revelation as she continues to recover from being slammed to the floor and stamped on 15 times, the New York Post reported.
“I just want to set the record straight. I never took the Nintendo Switch from him. From anyone that’s read or heard differently, I’ve been told this was unfortunately misinformation,” Ms Naydich said, according to a fundraiser launched for her recovery.
Brendan Depa, 17, told cops he launched his tirade on Naydich after she took his handheld game console during class.
Disturbing video shows the hulking 6ft 6ins teenager exacting his revenge on the mother of two in the school hallway.
Depa can be seen sprinting toward Ms Naydich and shoving her to the ground, knocking her unconscious immediately.
The teenager continues to beat Ms Naydich’s limp body as stunned students and teachers try to break up the violence.
It took four adults to pry the massive student off Ms Naydich, the footage shows.
Ms Naydich was rushed to a nearby hospital and has since been released but said she is “overwhelmed with the idea of the long fight ahead.”
“I’m hopeful that the awareness of this incident being spread far and wide will prevent anyone else from ever dealing with the trauma, physical healing and disruption of everyday life that this has caused,” Ms Naydich said on GoFundMe, where more than $66,000 has been raised for her.
Depa — who allegedly told cops he was “going to kill her” when he is released from custody — will be tried as an adult with aggravated battery on a school board employee, an offence punishable by up to 30 years behind bars.
The troubled teen has a violent past and was arrested three times for simple battery in 2019.
Depa is considered behaviourally disabled and requires specially designed instruction and related services as a member of so-called “exceptional students.”
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission