Spratt recovers after fight with irate student

After an unexpected clash with USF student Thomas Marshall, associate dean of students for Student Judicial Services Jason Spratt has taken a temporary leave of absence, an official said Thursday.

Kevin Banks, the dean of students for Student Affairs, said Spratt would be out for a brief period as he recuperates from the injuries he sustained Tuesday.

“He sustained some injuries and had to go to the hospital,” Banks said. “It’s a very upsetting situation whenever a student attacks a University employee. Voices get raised and people get upset (during SJS hearings), but it’s never appropriate when a student comes after a student official. There’s no reason for that type of behavior.”

Police said Marshall hit Spratt several times before he was arrested and transported to Orient Road Jail. During the fight, Spratt also hit Marshall in an attempt to defend himself, a report said.

The attack began in the office of SJS when 27-year-old Marshall, a math and philosophy student at USF, became irate during an inquiry into a previous trespassing violation.

Officers first encountered Marshall Aug. 15 around midnight, during which he told them he was homeless and waiting for his room in Kappa Hall to open for fall classes, a report said.

“We first encountered Thomas Marshall at a study lounge in the Andros residence hall,” University Police spokesman Michael Klingebiel said. “A resident assistant found the subject sleeping.”

UP officers then made a referral of the incident to Student Judicial Services, Klingebiel said.

Although Spratt would not comment on the specifics of the case, he said he would be returning to the University for work Tuesday.

“It’s an unfortunate and a rare incident, but I’m doing OK,” Spratt said. “I figured I would take a couple of days off and relax and recuperate a bit.”

As for past incidents, Klingebiel said he could not recall the last time a student had a physical altercation with a member of Student Affairs. However, he said it wasn’t unheard of for a student to get into fisticuffs with a professor.

Marshall remains in jail pending a combined bail of $2,750 for battery on a University official, resisting arrest without violence and disrupting a campus function.

The State Attorney’s office is looking into the case and has not made an official decision whether to prosecute Marshall.

Banks said members of Student Affairs would meet and decide whether any administrative actions will be needed to secure the safety of its employees.

“We’ll have to sit down with Jason (Spratt) and go over what happened,” Banks said.