Homestead, FL – A Florida police officer was violently kicked in the face by a high school student as he was struggling to apprehend another student on Thursday, cell phone footage showed (video below).
The incident occurred inside the Homestead Senior High School cafeteria, after a fight broke out among five students at lunchtime, WFOR reported.
The struggle between the officer and a 17-year-old female involved in the fight was already underway when a bystander began recording the melee, FOX News reported.
The video showed the officer scuffling with the teen on the floor, trying to get her hands behind her back.
A second female, later identified as 18-year-old Shardae Yvonne Pittman, began shoving the officer in an apparent attempt to get him off of the girl he was trying to subdue, the video showed.
A crowd of bystanders gathered around them, and at least two people rushed in to pull Pittman away from the officer.
But as she was being taken away, Pittman swiftly kicked the officer in the face while he was using his hands to hold the other female down.
The blow momentarily stunned the officer, but he quickly recovered.
He suffered abrasions and a cut to his lip as a result of the attack, FOX News reported.
Pittman was subsequently charged with interfering at an educational institution and battery on a law enforcement officer.
She was transported to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, and was released on $5,500 bond on Friday morning, according to WSVN.
“It is a shame that while this officer was attempting to break up a fight and maintain a safe learning environment, this adult student acted in a cowardly way rather than fall in line with MDCPS values,” Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Edwin Lopez tweeted on Thursday evening.
The school district expressed its support for the injured officer, and said that Pittman will face disciplinary action.
“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,” the district said in a statement.
“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,” the statement continued. “Students will also be disciplined according to the Code of Student Conduct, up to, and including, expulsion.”
The 17-year-old student the officer was trying to subdue when he was assaulted was charged with resisting arrest, and has since been released.
Her mother, Charnell Lee, claimed that her daughter did nothing wrong, and that she never should have been arrested in the first place.
“I’m highly upset about it. I’m p-ssed,” Lee told WSVN.
Lee said that her daughter was “jumped” by Pittman just before the video recording began, and that she was “defending herself.”
“She’s the victim!” Lee said of her 17-year-old daughter. “Of course she’s the victim…They just charged her with resisting arrest with officer. She never did anything to the officer.”
Lee claimed that the officer failed to protect her child from further assault.
“Why, when the police officer has my daughter on the ground, allow the other young lady to spit in her face?” she railed. “And then the other young lady who spit in her face put it on social media.”
Lee said that her daughter planned to enter the military, but that she will now have a criminal record “because she was defending herself.”
You can watch cell phone footage of Pittman’s assault on the officer in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content: