Local News

Charge dropped against Corinth Holders High student who threw punch

Posted May 4, 2018 2:17 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:15 a.m. EDT

An assault charge has been dropped against a Corinth Holders High School student who threw a punch this week while trying to defend another student who was being attacked.

Austin Benjamin St. John, 16, can be seen in a video posted to Facebook stepping into the middle of a fight, in which two students were beating a third, and throwing a punch, stopping the attack.

The fight occurred Monday outside the school. St. John and two other students were charged with assault in the case.

"Having reviewed our Code of Conduct and the law and the facts of the incident, we have consulted with the District Attorney's office in Johnston County and have recommended that the matter be resolved by way of voluntary dismissal," a spokesperson for Johnston County Schools said in a release Friday.

Johnston County Schools officials didn’t say whether the students were suspended but told WRAL News all disciplinary actions taken against them fall in line with the student code of conduct.

St. John said he feels he made the right choice by intervening.

"If I hadn't, who knows? They could have gone to the ground, he could have suffered severe damage to the back of his head," he said. "I should have acted sooner, but I'm glad I acted as soon as I did."

The community quickly responded to St. John's initial charges, saying St. John was trying to protect a friend.

"There was no way to stop the (situation) other than to use force because there were already people saying, 'Stop, it's not worth it,' and they weren't stopping," St. John said.

His mother, Amanda St. John, said she was proud of her son's actions.

"You can't charge somebody who was stepping in to help somebody from being beaten up," she said.