Florida cop caught on video using Taser to break up fighting high schoolers
A high school student in Port Orange, Florida allegedly required medical attention after a school officer Tased him to break up his on-campus fight, WKMG-TV reported.
Footage posted online shows Deputy Beth Fortin Tasing 16-year-old Jason Tidman after Tidman fell to the ground while fighting an unidentified ninth-grade student at Spruce Creek High School on Monday. Tidman can be seen going limp, but Fortin continues to use the device after getting on top of him.
Tidman’s family told WKMG that he sought medical attention on Tuesday because he has a pre-existing heart condition. But the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that he was “checked out and cleared” by local paramedics following the fight. The other student was not injured.
According to Tidman, the fight stemmed from a verbal altercation between himself and the other student when they bumped into one another in the school hallway. A spokesperson for the Volutia County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that Fortin used her Taser “to restore order and prevent serious injury to the combatants.”
Authorities also said she used the device after the two students ignored her order to stop fighting. Both students are likely to face misdemeanor charges in connection with the fight. But Tidman’s mother, Kim Tidman, said school coaches were trying to break the fight up. The footage posted online does not show any adults stepping in between the two students.
“They were both fighting and punching each other,” Kim Tidman told the News-Journal. “How do you choose which one to Tase?”
The News-Journal reported last October that Fortin also used her Taser against another student, Darius Matthews, after he attacked the school’s assistant principal. Matthews’ mother said he has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which has contributed to his having anger “blackouts.”
Matthews thanked Fortin at the time for stopping him.
“I feel bad for what I did,” he said. “It shouldn’t have gotten to that point.”
Watch WKMG’s report on Fortin’s use of the Taser against Tidman, as aired on Tuesday, below.