LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee County Sheriff's deputies arrested an 18-year-old East Lee County High School for allegedly beating up a student because of his sexual orientation.
James Griffin was arrested after being seen in a surveillance video, punching another student more than once in the cafeteria.
According to the victim, Griffin made homophobic slurs at him, tripped him and threw bread at him before the fight broke out. As if to show he wasn't fazed, the victim said he threw the bread into the air and snapped his fingers flamboyantly. As he did this, the suspect allegedly threw a carton of milk in his face and screamed another homophobic slur at him, before punching him in the face and then again in the back of the head. The victim's friend ran to his defense and got into a physical fight with the suspect.
"As soon as the milk hit me in the face he punched me in the face and I was like alright, that was fast and right when I thought that he punched me twice in the back of the head," said Colon.
Deputies reviewed the surveillance footage several times and found the victim's statements to be accurate. They found that the victim never raised his hands to strike as the suspect was hitting him.
The victim had a large raised lump on the left side of his forehead and another large raised lump on the back of his head, behind his right ear.
Based on the video and the victim's injuries, Griffin was arrested for battery.
"I got in to the midst of them away from away from each-other," said student Mark Betterson.
Betterson says he was bullied also in school and knows how it feels, so he stepped in to break up the fight.
"He was litterally beating him up so I couldn't just sit there and watch a man get beat up," said Betterson.
"It was a good reminder to me that there are good people at my school and that our school is a safe place to be," said Colon.