Autistic teen charged in alleged teacher attack

generic school crime scene
AP Graphics

A 13-year-old autistic student is facing felony battery charges in Florida for allegedly hitting a middle school speech therapist in the head with headphones.

According to the Pensacola News Journal, Conner Brown was charged on Jan. 2 for battery on a public or private education employee, considered a third-degree felony. He was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at the Escambia Regional Juvenile Justice Center.

Kathy Roupe, 57, a speech therapist at Ferry Pass Middle School, filed the charges against Brown. In the arrest report, Roupe claimed Brown hit her in the head with a set of headphones last month during a group activity at the school, according to the News Journal.

Roupe reportedly told deputies that the student hit her "with so much force, it felt like my skull cracked."

Brown's mother, Kathy Pack, said her son told her he threw the headphones at a fellow student, who was bothering him with noises, which set off Brown's autism symptoms. According to her, a five-day suspension that was handed down by the school should have been sufficient.

Pack also said that Brown and the speech therapist had worked together for two years and there had never been any problems previously. She also said that Brown had visited a psychologist prior to the event for behavior improvement.

"Basically, he didn't have control," Pack told the News Journal. "She made it sound like he intentionally hit her."

The schools superintendent, Malcolm Thomas, wouldn't divulge the particulars of the case, according to the News Journal.

Roupe did not answer a message left by the newspaper.