HOUSTON -- The day after HISD police officers wrestled a 10th grade girl to the hallway floor of Sam Houston High School, the girl and her family protested in front of the campus demanding an investigation and an apology.
In cell phone video first aired on KHOU Tuesday night, three HISD police officers surround Ixel Perez, two of them have her pinned to the floor face down. One officer has his knee pressed to the side of her head.
"Both of the cops just tackled her down to the floor. They put her knee on her head and after that they just arrested her, took her phone," said student Gustavo Lucio who took the video on his cell phone. "The cop just said you can't use your phone and after that, no words no nothing, just actions, grabbed her, threw her down."
"It was embarrassing," said Perez outside the high school Wednesday morning.
Perez, with her mom and her brother by her side, described the chain of events that led to the officers wrestling her to the floor.
She says her reading teacher caught her using her cell phone in class, which is against school rules, and told her to go to the hallway. That's where Perez says she was confronted by an assistant principal who demanded she relinquish the phone. Students caught using phones in class are required to turn them over to school administrators and then retrieve them at the end of the school day, for a fee.
"I just didn't want to give up my phone," said Perez who said she was talking to her mom who suffers from medical conditions. Perez said she was trying to make sure her mom was OK.
"She asked me for the phone and I didn't want to give it to her, because I was scared. I ended up walking down the stairs trying to get away from the AP (assistant principal) and then she had already called the cops."
The HISD resource officers also demanded she hang up the phone and hand it to them. Perez admitted she refused again.
'He grabbed my hand, one of them was right here, one grabbed my hand, I didn't want to let go of my phone because I was on the phone with mom," she said.
Perez was detained. Her mom says she was turned away when she rushed to the school to make sure her daughter was OK. And as of Wednesday morning Perez said school officials had not returned her cell phone, in lieu of a $15 fee she would need to pay.
"We all know it was wrong," said Perez' brother Chris Cardenas. "It doesn't take three cops to take down one teenage girl, especially a 70-pound teenage girl!"
A spokesperson for HISD would only respond with a brief written statement:
"The safety of our students at Sam Houston High School and of all our schools is always our absolute top priority. The HISD police department and the school's administration are continuing their investigations of what led to the detainment of a female student yesterday. "
Meanwhile Perez and her family says she will not return to Sam Houston High School. They will attempt to get her transferred to another school.