A messy food fight ends in a felony charge for one student

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by Carina Sonn

azfamily.com

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 27 at 10:19 PM

PHOENIX -- A messy food fight ends with a student being charged with a felony after a teacher accused him of tackling him to the ground.

The senior prank happened this past May at Horizon High School at 56th Street and Greenway, during the lunch hour.

Conner Floyd-Elsesser said he was just trying to leave the cafeteria and avoid the mess when two teachers attacked him.

"I was in defense mode, I was in fetal position, I was shocked... I'm on my back getting hit in my left side right in the gut," said Floyd-Elsesser, who is now a sophomore at a different high school.

But a teacher said it was the student who "tackled and knocked him to the ground," according to police reports.

Cell phone video shows a teacher hovering over the student, but doesn't show what took place prior.

Floyd-Elsesser was charged with aggravated assault, which is a felony.

The county attorney is moving forward with prosecution after the teen decided not to take part in a diversion program, meaning the charge would be dropped if the boy accepted fault.

He declined that option.

"Conner didn't do anything wrong, he didn't assault that teacher - in fact it's the opposite. So there was no reason to admit responsibility and therefore he wasn't going to participate in diversion," said criminal defense attorney Jason Lamm, who is representing the teen.

"The county attorney's office acted appropriately to investigate and hold any individuals accountable for their actions," Horizon High School said Thursday.

The school went on to add that the food fight was "...a dangerous, physical assault that put the safety of hundreds of students and staff members at risk."

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