LEESBURG, Fla. — A Leesburg Police officer got into a brief physical altercation with a Leesburg High School student Thursday while investigating a number of recent fights there.
Police say some of the students involved in the fights were also identified as being connected to reports of violent crime throughout the city.
According to police, the School Resource Officer was on campus investigating the fights and trying to prevent other fights, which were rumored to be imminent.
While speaking to the officer, police say the student became verbally aggressive, and at one point, charged and swung his fist at the officer.
According to Leesburg police, the officer was able to deflect the punch and redirect the student- who is larger than the officer- to the ground.
Police say the student “regained his composure” within a few minutes and the officer helped him back to his feet.
The student refused medical treatment for a small abrasion he received on the lip during the altercation.
The student was not arrested, at the officer’s discretion, “recognizing that not arresting the student was acting in the better interest of the student,” the police department said in a statement.
The incident was reported to the officer’s supervisors and to school officials.
Police say they tried to find cell phone video of the incident, but no other students were around at the time. Leesburg police officers are also not equipped with body-worn cameras.
Leesburg police chief Rob Hicks recently held a meeting with community leaders and the principal of Leesburg High School to “encourage an open and productive dialogue about all of these issues.”
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