Pasco sheriff: School resource officer 'did what he had to do'

The Pasco County sheriff says the school resource officer who arrested a female high school student in a takedown captured on video and shared on social media "did what he had to do" to de-escalate the situation. 

Sheriff Chris Nocco says the deputy was called into the cafeteria after a student who was skipping class was being disruptive. The full body camera video was released at a news conference Wednesday showing Cpl. Richard Stackon's response. 

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"What's going on?" Cpl. Stackon is heard saying. "Come on out here and talk to me for a second," he says. After numerous attempts of asking her calmly to leave the cafeteria, he tells the girl she's being a disruption and takes her by the arm. 

When she resists and appears to come at him, he is seen forcibly taking her down onto the ground to handcuff her. "He did not take the student into custody until the student attempted to strike him," deputies said.

The sheriff's office began its investigation when clips of the video taken by other students were shared on social media. Cpl. Stackon was taken out of the school Wednesday as the investigation was completed and he is expected to return to the school. "The Pasco Sheriff’s Office stands by how our officer handled the situation," the sheriff's office said. 

The girl's parents were called to the school after the incident and the student was seen on video in the school resource officer's office while she waited. "You shouldn't have stood up and came at me," Cpl. Stackon is heard saying on the body camera video released by the department on Wednesday. 

When asked about the language the officer used as he handcuffed the student, Sheriff Nocco said, "If teenagers and children in schools believe they have more authority than the teachers, the principal, administrators, and the school resource officers, we're in a lot more trouble than we think we are." 

"He did what he had to do," Nocco said, "to defuse the situation." 

Sheriff's deputies went to the family's home to discuss the case after the incident, and the family declined to talk, Sheriff Nocco said. 

The student faces charges of campus disruption, obstruction of justice and resisting arrest. 

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