A student who used his grandmother’s anti-anxiety medication to cope with bullying was Tasered outside a Brandon high school after he overdosed and began acting bizarrely.
Defence lawyer Philip Sieklicki said his young client took more and more of the drug, Clonazepam, because he felt it wasn’t easing his anxiety.
"I’m told that his grandmother takes only one drop at a time … he took the entire bottle," Sieklicki said in court.
Clonazepam is used to treat seizures and panic disorder.
The teen was sentenced on Thursday for possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and for resisting police.
The incident didn’t appear in the Brandon Police Service media releases from that time. However, details were shared in court on Thursday during sentencing.
In this particular case, the Brandon Sun has chosen not to name the student.
While he was an adult at the time, authorities agree his actions were out of character and has turned his school life around with the help of counselling.
Having returned to school following a suspension, he is doing much better in school.
Crown attorney Brett Rach said that on Oct. 4 at 4:20 p.m., the student’s mom called police to state she was picking up her son from Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School as it was believed he was high on a drug.
After taking the drugs, his teacher believed the pupil to be drunk and he became aggressive, so police were called.
Police found the student by the school, at the corner of Maryland Avenue and First Street.
He was highly agitated, showed police his middle finger and swore at them. He pulled out an object and unfolded what was believed to be a knife (following the incident, police learned it was a screwdriver).
The student made stabbing motions with the object and told police to come and get him.
Police repeatedly warned him to drop the knife or he’d be Tasered. Police did, in fact, fire the Taser, but it failed to stop the student, who pulled the probes out of his chest.
Still armed with the screwdriver, he then ran around and stopped vehicles and punched their hoods. He tried to get into two or three occupied vehicles that were stopped in traffic, and removed his shirt.
Officers pepper-sprayed the student in the face, but he still kept hold of the screwdriver. They Tasered the teen again and finally subdued him.
It was then that police found the "knife" was a bicycle tool equipped with a flathead screwdriver.
The teen later explained that he had taken his grandmother’s medication to deal with anxiety from bullying. An immigrant, he felt he was being bullied because he couldn’t speak English.
While his English skills have since vastly improved, he appeared in court with the assistance of an interpreter.
Given the circumstances, Rach joined Sieklicki in asking the court to impose a conditional discharge that would give the teen a chance to maintain a clean record.
Judge John Combs made it a one-year discharge.