A 15-year-old St. Cloud High School student was arrested on Thursday after he grabbed and through to the ground one of the school resource officers that was attempting to break up a fight, according to St. Cloud Police. St. Cloud Police Chief Douglas Goerke released a statement on Friday about the incident.

I am aware of the video circulating on social media surrounding the events that took place at St. Cloud High School yesterday morning involving the arrest of a student for Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting an Officer with Violence. After reviewing all available videos, including Officer Ball’s Body Worn Camera, what I witnessed was extremely disturbing. As Officer Ball was separating two students from fighting each other, another student, suddenly and without provocation, walked up, dropped his backpack, and grabbed Officer Ball by the neck, pulling him away from the initial fight.

Officer Ball then focused his attention on the third student attempting to control him with the least amount of force possible. The student picked up Officer Ball and slammed him to the ground. With the help of a few amazing students and a school administrator, Officer Ball and another School Resource Officer were able to gain control of the student on the ground until other officers arrived to assist them in securing the student.

To be clear, the incident Officer Ball was dealing with did not involve the student that was arrested. Officer Ball was there to prevent two other students from harming each other. What occurred to Officer Ball was despicable and should never have happened. We will never tolerate behavior that targets our officers and will hold those accountable at the highest levels. We have been asked to provide body camera footage and are working to fulfill those requests as quickly as possible.

I am so proud of our School Resource Officers. They truly care about our students and show the highest poise & compassion. Officer Ball is the epitome of professionalism and has been at St. Cloud High School for the past twelve years. The outpouring of support for Officer Ball on social media has been amazing. We will continue to work closely with our partners at the Osceola County School District to ensure our students’ safety while on campus.

Douglas Goerke

Chief, St. Cloud Police Department