A 15-year-old student was arrested and charged with assault and battery on a police officer following an incident at Arlington High School yesterday morning.
The female student came back to school following a five-day suspension. Upon return, she became disruptive with staff to the point of receiving another suspension, according to Captain Richard Flynn.
The student refused to the leave the classroom, Flynn said. School Resource Officer Edward Walsh verbally tried to get the student to leave the classroom but she was uncooperative.
“She would not comply with anyone’s demands,” Flynn said.
The officer then used “hand techniques” in an effort to remove the student, who was warned that she would be further suspended if she did not comply, Flynn said. She continued to resist and began to kick and punch Walsh.
She was then warned that if she continued to resist Walsh would have to use pepper spray, Flynn said.
“She continued to kick and fight and the officer disengaged and gave one short burst,” he said.
The student was quickly subdued and taken into custody.
Police officers are told to use pepper spray in situations that have escalated to a point where either they or the instigator could be hurt, Flynn said. In this case, Walsh could have used further force, but it likely would have hurt the student, Flynn said.
“The last thing you want to have happen is an officer, male or female, struggling, that’s how people get hurt,” Flynn said. “I’m sure Walsh could have restrained her, but [the use of pepper spray] creates separation. It gains compliance without physical techniques.”
The student was charged with assault and battery on a police officer and trespassing.