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Friday, May 25, 2018
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Sheriff: Sunlake SRO who took down student ‘did what he had to do’

At a news conference on Wednesday, Nocco identified the officer as Richard Stackon, who joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1994. Stackon has spent "several years" as an SRO, Nocco said, and he had nothing in his file "that stands out."

Around 1 p.m., Nocco showed the 8-minute video, in which the teenagers’ faces were blurred out. The footage was investigated by the Sheriff’s Office’s Professional Standards Unit, which also reviewed collected witness statements.

Leading up to the incident, Nocco said school administrators in the cafeteria asked the student multiple times to return to class.

When she didn’t leave, school officials asked the SRO to remove the student from the cafeteria, deputies said. The officer then tried to place the student under arrest and she resisted, sheriff’s officials said.

Later, the video showed Stackon sitting across from the student in his office.

"I was trying to be nice to you, but you didn’t (listen). ... You think I like doing this stuff? No. I’ve done it twice because people don’t listen," Stackon said.

After the video played, Nocco said he wanted everyone to "see a different side" of the situation — in this case, the deputy’s.

Nocco said Stackon was doing "everything he could" to diffuse an escalated situation.

"I think his conduct was above and beyond," Nocco said, when considering other potential outcomes such as using a taser.

Nocco said the student’s family has not registered a formal complaint.

Deputies visited the student’s family Tuesday night. Authorities said family members did not want to talk at the time.

The student who resisted was arrested on misdemeanor charges of resisting without violence and disruption of a school function, according to the Sheriff’s Office. That student’s identity was not released by deputies.

The SRO was set to work today, but not at Sunlake High School.

However, Nocco said the officer "did what we had to do" and will return to Sunlake High School.

The Pasco school district declined comment.

"It’s a law enforcement issue. ... We need to let the investigation run its course," district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said.

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