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'I am innocent:' Private security guard's letter defends actions in Brainerd High incident

Images: Hamilton Co. Jail / WTVC file photo of the January 4th incident.
Images: Hamilton Co. Jail / WTVC file photo of the January 4th incident.
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A private security guard accused of punching a student a Brainerd High School is defending his actions to the state after his arrest.

It's a story we've been covering since the beginning of this year involving Josephus Reed and his company Bigfoot Security.

Back in January, a student accused Reed of punching him for violating a dress code policy.

The school and open records requests later revealed Reed was not authorized to be working there and did not have a license.

Last month, that guard turned himself in to authorities and was charged with assault for what happened.

But the following week, we found out the state had granted him a security license.

Now we've uncovered what Reed said to the state through open records requests.

"I am innocent."

It's a phrase Reed repeated three times in this letter.

Reed was required to report his arrest to the state, which he used to give his account of what happened at Brainerd.

"Mr. Reed never attacked this student. This student was attacking members of staff, including Mr. Reed," says Reed's attorney Bill Speek.

We obtained the letter through an open record's request and found out his side of the story.

Reed claims Fleetwood punched Brainerd Principal Crystal Sorrells and had to be restrained by several members of school staff.

"The student was put to the ground in an effort to protect themselves from the student attacking them," say Speek.

Reed also makes the claim that “everything was going good, but I did catch 5 guns.”

But Fleetwood's attorney Robin Flores denies the claims.

"If he took five firearms off somebody, where are the firearms," says Flores.

He says despite Reed's claims that Fleetwood was combative with staff, he was never disciplined by the school, even after they completed an investigation in February.

"I would think that if this young man assaulted a principal of the school, they would have at least charged him or expelled him on their zero tolerance policy. So we haven't seen anything like that," says Flores.

We reached out the school district, who told us that Principal Sorrells was hit during the struggle.

They didn’t say by whom, but they also say there were no guns found at Brainerd High that day.

Read the full statement from HCS below:

"We categorically deny that firearms were found in the possession of students on campus. Dr. Sorrells was struck during the altercation, but was not injured. Several staff were initially involved with efforts to restrain the student until SROs intervened. As there are still legal proceedings ongoing involving this situation, HCS will have no further statement on this matter at this time."

Although there is video of what happened, both attorneys say they haven't seen the video.

"We're commenting about a video that we can't say we are in possession of yet," says Speek.

We put in several open records request for the video of what happened with the sheriff’s department on January 10th, but didn't receive a reply.

We then put in two more requests on March 13th and May 24th, but are still waiting.

The school district did respond to our request for their video, saying its release would violate other students' privacy.

"We already know from eyewitnesses exactly what happened, the video is only going to corroborate what they said," says Speek.

We asked Speek if Reed reported the guns he saw law enforcement, which he couldn't confirm.

Reed still faces criminal charges in this case.

Speek says Reed's next court date will be a status hearing July 20th.

Flores says Fleetwood is ready to file a civil suit against Reed.

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