OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The father of a 12-year-old Osceola County girl said he was arrested for trying ensure his daughter was safe at school.
Footage recorded by surveillance cameras at Westside K-8 School showed a school resource officer trying to pull a handcuffed Sam Nelsen to the ground.
Nelsen said he had begged school officials for more than one year to handle a bully.
He told Channel 9 that he was frustrated the first time the boy physically attacked his daughter, Bianca, and by the second time it happened, he was fed up and wanted the Osceola County Sheriff's Office to do something about it.
Nelsen said an autistic boy leaped over a desk and punched his daughter when she mistakenly said "bruh," which is among a list of words that the boy doesn't like.
"She gives me the drive of everything I do," he said. "To get that phone call and to hear that, it killed me."
Many phone calls led to a meeting with the school's assistant principal, which was followed by an encounter with a school resource officer, who Nelsen said never took his daughter's safety seriously.
"To this day, it is a shock to me what happened," Nelsen said.
The School District of Osceola County said Nelsen started cursing and scaring other parents minutes after meeting with the assistant principal.
But surveillance footage appears to show Nelsen high-fiving an office worker and engaging in playful conversation with his daughter until the school resource officer handcuffs him and slams him against a wall.
Bianca was seen running away in the footage.
Nelsen said the video doesn't show him trying to explain to his daughter what happened.
"It kills me. It does," he said. "I don't ever want her to be upset."
Nelsen said he called the Sheriff's Office to ask for a different deputy to write a report on the bullying and that the dispatcher told him to stay put until that deputy arrived.
The Sheriff's Office said Nelsen refused to leave after being told to do so.
The agency hasn't said whether the deputy is being investigated for how he handled the incident.
The school district said the boy was appropriately punished, but it didn't provide details about the discipline. The district said it takes students' safety seriously.
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