PALM COAST, Fla. – A Flagler County deputy used a Taser gun on 6-foot, 1-inch, 275-pound high school student who punched the deputy after refusing instructions from his teacher, authorities said.
The Flagler Palm Coast High School teacher requested the deputy's help when 16-year-old Laurence Gibson refused to go to the dean's office for not doing his classwork Thursday, Superintendent Bill Delbrugge said. All other students were asked to leave the room.
Deputy Scott Vedder responded to Robert Ripley's special education class and asked Gibson to leave the room, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debra Johnson said. When Gibson refused, Vedder placed his hands on Gibson's arms and the student hit Vedder in the face, Johnson said.
Vedder fired his Taser after warning Gibson that if he did not stand up, he would be shocked, authorities said.
Gibson was taken to a hospital where prongs from the Taser were removed. He was then taken to Volusia Regional Juvenile Detention Center on a charge of felony battery of a law enforcement officer, Johnson said.
"This was an incident where the deputy felt his life was being threatened and rather than using a gun he used a Taser," Sheriff Don Fleming said. "When you've got a guy bigger than you, waving a baton is like waving a feather at him and we don't want to shoot a student."