Fourth-grader saw teen use pepper spray at school dance

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

We are learning how investigators tracked a 14-year-old student down in the days after pepper spray went off at a school dance. One student we spoke to said said he’ll never forget.

We have the video showing the moment the spray went off at G. Weaver Hipps Elementary School in Lehigh Acres.

“She put it out of her pocket right, and put it high for no one to see,” fourth-grader Michael Brache said.

Brache said he’s thankful surveillance video captured the moments leading up to the emergency evacuation here.

Deputies said you can see the student rise her arm, spray something into the air and then quickly take off. In newly released video from the cafeteria at the elementary school. And Brache was right next to it.

”It was a scary night for me that day, very scary,” Brache said. “We were standing next to the girl and we started smelling something bad.”

Then, there was an emergency evacuation. The pepper spray put 13 people in the hospital. Video showed kids trying to shield their mouths from the fumes.

“They couldn’t breathe well,” Brache said. “Their throat was hurting. They were coughing a lot”

Another student questioned by detectives pointed at the same girl who investigators say took the weapon to the friendship dance.

“Dances, movies that we have and stuff like that is to have fun,” Brache said. “Not to have a bad thing happen.”

The 14-year-old deputies originally identified as the student who used the pepper spray at the dance was arrested for the incident. But the charges have been dropped.

Brache said he is thankful no one was seriously hurt. And he wants to make sure things like pepper spray or any weapon doesn’t find its way into schools.

“I’m scared of weapons and all that. I want them taken out,” Brache said. “Because you never know. something bad could happen at our school.”


Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.