Lee County Sheriff’s Office faces lawsuit over Cypress Lake High School incident

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Parents say it was nothing more than horseplay; deputies are calling it domestic battery.

In the end, no charges were filed against the Cypress Lake High School student involved, but now the Lee County Sheriff’s Office has a lawsuit on their hands.

The lawsuit states it all started as “a horse playing incident” on March 10, 2022.

And the school resource officer (SRO) arrested a student and sent the child to the juvenile assessment center without informing Cypress Lake High School, or the student’s parents.

The lawsuit, which targets both Sheriff Carmine Marceno and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, claims the second student involved in the horse playing incident told their stepfather about what happened.

That stepfather is a Lee County deputy.

The lawsuit says the deputy then contacted the Cypress Lake High SRO directly.

That’s when, the lawsuit says, the SRO questioned and then arrested the teenager without calling the student’s parents or even telling Cypress Lake High Staff.

“If the parent is not available, the student has a right to say he does not want to talk or she does not want to talk, and SROs should actually, before questioning in a criminal case read the rights to that student,” said Mac Hardy, a former police officer and SRO, who is now the director of operations for the National Association of School Resource Officers.

The parents of the teenager go on to say in this lawsuit the SRO questioned their child a second time after the arrest and after the family hired an attorney.

They said that the school had no knowledge of this, nor did the attorney.

The student’s family has yet to comment.

In the end, the state attorney decided not to file charges against student.

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