Cell phone video exonerates teen in food fight assault case

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Steve Ryan

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 29 at 2:41 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After reviewing cell phone video and hearing from witnesses, a judge ruled that a teenager involved in a food fight at Horizon High School did not assault a teacher.

Conner Floyd was a freshman when the food fight -- a senior prank -- broke out in June. He was tackled by a teacher as he tried to leave the cafeteria. That teacher claimed Conner assaulted him. With that allegation and support for the teacher from the school, the teen was charged with aggravated assault -- a felony.

"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," Floyd, who now attends a different school, told Carina Sonn in September.

Judge David K. Udall heard the case in Maricopa County Superior Court earlier this month.

"During trial the Court heard not only eyewitness testimony but also reviewed the video of the incident and still photos which appear to depict the Assistant Principal kicking Conner while the Teacher had Conner pinned to the ground with his knee dug into his shoulder," wrote Jason Lamm, Conner's lawyer, in a news release.

On Wednesday, Udall issued a written verdict -- not guilty.

"I was really relieved," Conner said.

"I was just overjoyed," Conner's mom, Melissa, said. "I was so happy to have this eight months of chaos and craziness and heartbreak just to be done."

While the Maricopa County Attorney Office gave Conner the chance to take part in a diversion program, which would have meant accepting blame, the teen took Lamm's advice and declined.

"The fact of the matter is he [Conner] did nothing wrong," Lamm told 3TV's Steve Ryan after Udall handed down his decision.

3TV tried to contact school officials about the verdict but was unable to do so because it was after regular business hours.

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