Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

High school student fights school resource officer in Pasco for third time in two weeks

The 15-year-old boy shoved the school resource officer, spewed profanities and threatened to kill the deputy stationed at Ridgewood High School, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

For the third time in two weeks, a student has been arrested for attacking a school resource officer. Last month two other boys — one at River Ridge High, another at Hudson High — were pepper-sprayed after brawling with deputies, authorities said.

Officials are concerned about the trend. Less than two months into the school year, Pasco has already seen more aggression against school resource officers than all of last year, when two deputies were attacked.

School officials and law enforcement say the difficult economy could be a factor.

"The reality is, we are a microcosm of society," said Lizette Alexander, director of student services for Pasco schools. "There are stressors out there with families experiencing economic and personal distress. And sometimes, that's reflected in our walls."

Although patrol deputies are prepared to back up school resource officers if needed, the deputies are trained to handle school violence, said Kevin Doll, sheriff's spokesman.

"Schools are more safe than what a deputy typically has to deal with on the street or in the detention center," Doll said. "But, the fact is, there's still a danger there."

The latest incident happened Oct. 2 at Ridgewood, where a teacher alerted Deputy Blake Swezey that a student left his office using profanity, according to a sheriff's report.

Fearing a physical confrontation with the boy, the teacher flagged Swezey down to help.

The boy told Swezey to "get the f--- out of my way," and pushed Swezey twice, the report said.

Swezey grabbed the boy, arrested him and escorted him back to his office, where the boy repeatedly said he would get a gun and shoot everyone, specifically mentioning his teacher and Swezey, the report said.

The boy, whose name was withheld because of his age, was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer.

The first incident this year happened Sept. 24 and involved a 16-year-old freshman who showed up at River Ridge High School while he was on suspension. When Deputy Arthur Morrison tried to escort the boy out of a crowded classroom, the teen pushed back and Morrison fell into a table, cutting his head, the Sheriff's Office said.

Morrison wrestled with the boy and doused him with pepper spray before another deputy arrived and pointed a Taser at the boy. The boy was charged with battery on school personnel, resisting arrest without violence and trespassing on school grounds.

Four days later, Dillen McFadden, an 18-year-old senior at Hudson High School, became disruptive in the commons at the school. Authorities say McFadden twice shoved Deputy John Watson, and when Watson pinned the student to the wall, McFadden punched the deputy, breaking his glasses and bruising his lip.

Watson blasted McFadden with pepper spray, the Sheriff's Office said, and McFadden picked up a chair and held it over his head as if he were going to hit the deputy with it. McFadden put the chair down when Watson unholstered his Taser.

McFadden was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.

Lt. Brian Prescott, who supervises school resource officers, said he hopes these three attacks are an anomaly.

"Our message is clear," he said. "Respect other people's rights and the law and keep your hands to yourself, or you face severe legal and school consequences."

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at or (813) 909-4609.

High school student fights school resource officer in Pasco for third time in two weeks 10/07/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 8:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  2. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?


    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]