Battery Charges Filed for Jonatha Carr, FAU Student Who Threatened to Kill Teacher, Family Says

Felony charges have been filed against 24-year-old FAU student Jonatha Carr, according to her sister, in connection with her classroom outburst in which she was filmed threatening to kill a professor and classmates.

Her family spoke to the Pulp last week about Carr's long struggle with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Despite the assertion several weeks ago by an FAU Police spokesman that no charges would be filed, Nicole Carr said her mother was called earlier today and informed there was a warrant out for Jonatha's arrest.

Multiple calls to spokespeople for both Florida Atlantic University and the university police department were not answered or returned.

Carr's police report includes charges for battery and disturbance, but actual charges filed by the state attorney can differ greatly from charges police initially arrest someone for. There are no charges in Palm Beach County online court filings, and a call to the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office was not returned.

Nicole Carr said she and her family were being cautious in proceeding, and were not sure if Jonatha would turn herself in today.

"We're just trying to talk to a lawyer to see what the best thing would be," Nicole said.

Jonatha was in a precarious mental state last week when her sister and mother spoke to the Pulp; they characterized her March 20 outburst in a biology class as a "break" associated with her mental illness. They said she had been doing well with medication and group therapy and had never had a public break before.

When she did, however, classmates ended up filming her yelling things like "I will kill the fuck out of you" and hitting a man the University Press has identified as instructor Justin White. White and another FAU employee eventually pulled her out of the classroom and held her down until police arrived.

When that happened, according to the police report, she hit one officer in the chest and continued yelling threats and racial slurs; she resisted detention aggressively enough that police reported it was necessary to taser her three times on the way to a hospital.

The university served her a temporary suspension while she was in the mental health facility, her mother said. There was a meeting with campus authorities on Monday in which her sister said nothing final was decided. FAU has declined to discuss the case in the past weeks because of federal and state privacy regulations.

But, Nicole said, the university's intentions at the meeting, and in scheduling another for next week, were clear:

"It looked to us," she said, "like they were moving to expell her."

Jonatha's mother, Joyce Carr, said last week that she didn't hold it against the university that it was trying to "protect the campus."

"If Jonatha never finishes her biology degree at FAU, we accept that," she said. "Jonatha suffers with mental illness. Not as an excuse, but that's the situation."

New Times on Facebook | Twitter 
The Pulp on Facebook | Twitter 
Rich Abdill on Facebook | Twitter | Email

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Rich Abdill