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Teacher's Aide Savagely Beaten by Student Corrects One Piece of 'Misinformation' About the Attack

Flagler County Sheriff's Office

Joan Naydich, a teacher's aide at a Florida high school, spoke out for the first time since a student brutally assaulted the 57-year-old mother of two on Feb. 21 to correct a piece of "misinformation" that's been circulating in the wake of the attack. 

In video footage from Matanzas High School's surveillance system, Brendan J. Depa, a 6'6", 270-pound 17-year-old, can be seen charging Naydich, launching her several feet before repeatedly punching and kicking her at least 15 times, before a group of people pull him off of her.

The suspect reportedly told police that Naydich took away his Nintendo Switch, but according to a message from Naydich posted on a GoFundMe page for her, that's not accurate. 

"Overwhelmed with the idea of the long fight ahead," she said, telling those who have donated that their "contributions are lessening that burden," and she's "grateful" for them. 

"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," she continued. "It's touching to know that so many care. This certainly wasn't how I saw my son's senior year turning out for our family." 

In a message to the "keyboard warriors" out there, Naydich said she never took the suspect's video game console. 

"I just want to set the record straight," she added. "I never took the Nintendo Switch from him. From anyone that's read or heard differently, I've been told this was unfortunately misinformation." 

In bodycam footage, Depa is seen asking police if he's going to jail and telling them, "I have more important things to do." According to the Daily Mail, the suspect was previously charged with battery three times in 2019 and had gone through a Department of Juvenile Justice program. 

He is being charged as an adult with aggravated battery on a school board employee, a first-degree felony, which could put him behind bars for up to 30 years. 

Depa is being held on a $1 million bond. 


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