Zephyrhills High School principal Andy Frelick didn't just get in the middle of a fight -- he became a part of it. He appeared to tackle a student in a video recorded by another student.
"I happen to see two students come over here in kind of a commotion and I started running over here," he recalled. "By then, I lost my balance, and in between his motion and my losing my balance, we both fell to the ground."
School administrators say the fight was about a pair of sneakers. The student about to throw the punch had just gotten them for his birthday, and someone stole them and was threatening to sell them online.
"My job is to protect the kids on campus and I was doing my best to make sure everybody was safe," Frelick continued.
Frelick was near the busses when he heard the commotion. He started running toward them, then said he tripped on uneven pavement.
"I think it belongs on bloopers more than a tackling video," he said.
The Pasco County School District said administrators aren't advised to get in the middle of fights, but it can happen.
"When the adrenaline is flowing and you're whole purpose is to avoid someone else from getting hurt, you're going to get in the middle in those cases," said Linda Cobbe with the school district.
The video has the school buzzing.
"I think he was trying to do his right job and maybe he was running maybe a little too fast," said student William Seville.
"It looked like he tackled him," said Dakota Champman.
With 17 years of experience as a principal, Frelick said tackling is not in his nature.
"We always want to protect and get in between fights. I would never tackle anyone," he said.
As for the students, the one got his sneakers back, and now all three -- including the person recording the fight -- have been punished for their lack of judgment.
"I just feel bad," Frelick added. "We could have solved it without any violence."
The student recording the fight got in trouble because he could have alerted an adult.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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