Crimes

Teacher beaten unconscious by student after stopping him playing Nintendo Switch opens up about terrifying ordeal

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A teacher who was beaten unconscious by a student after she stopped him playing a video game on his Nintendo Switch has recalled the terrifying ordeal.

In February 2023, Brendan Depa, then 17, attacked his high school teacher Joan Naydich after she raised that he’d been playing with the gaming console in class.

Depa, who weighs 270 pounds, was seen on video kicking and punching the teacher in the back numerous times at Matanzas High School before staff intervened.

Naydich was left unconscious after the altercation, subsequently being taken to hospital and treated after the attack.

It has also been reported that Depa ‘threatened to kill’ the high school teacher during his arrest.

As Depa turned 18, he was charged with a first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery, after initially being charged as a juvenile, which would have carried a lesser sentence

Back in October, Depa confessed to his crimes and now faces up to 30 years behind bars.

His sentence will be determined by Judge Terence Perkins at a hearing later this month.

“No contest,” Depa said after Perkins asked him how he pleaded to the felony charge against him, according to Flagler Live.

While Depa could face three decades in jail, there is also a possibility he may be handed just a period of probation.

The proceedings this month will include witness testimony for both the prosecution and defense.

Now, Naydich – who has refused to help lighten Depa’s sentence – has embarked on her first major interview since being beaten unconscious nearly a year ago.



She told the New York Post: “The last thing I remember is having my hand on the door handle.

“I don’t remember anything [else] until 3.30pm when I came to. And at that point I was in the ER and my son and daughter were standing there.”

Naydich first encountered Depa in January 2022 in a special needs classroom.

The New York Post reports that she provided assistance to the primary teacher, ensuring Depa and his classmates made it to various destinations in the school throughout the day.

For more than a year, the teacher never sensed any physical threat from Depa.

“He would try to intimidate,” she added.

“But during that school year it never got to the point where he became violent. It was just verbal.”

However, everything changed after Depa pulled out his Nintendo Switch in class and distracted other students with it.

Naydich informed Depa’s next teacher of the issue, and when the student found out, he quickly became aggressive.

She said: “That’s when he started calling me names. The energy changed in there. I just wanted to remove myself from it. I didn’t want to get into it with him.”

Depa then approached Naydich and spat in her face.

The teacher then turned to open the door – which was her last memory before blinking into consciousness in the hospital.

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