BRADENTON, Fla. — Police arrested a Manatee County elementary school employee for allegedly abusing a child who has autism.
Bradenton Police Department joined Child Protective Services in response to a call on February 7 from G.D. Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary School in reference to allegations of a child abuse incident involving a paraprofessional and a student at the school.
Surveillance video showed the man, identified as 40-year-old Quintin Bradley, interacting with a young student who has nonverbal autism.
"There was a level of aggression that goes beyond playing. This is definitely a malicious act by this individual," said Captain Brian Thiers, Bradenton Police Department.
The paraprofessional used a heavy rubber play ball to hit the 5-year-old student with enough force that the child was knocked backwards into a chain-link fence. Bradley retrieved the ball and threw it at the child two more times.
Police say Bradley then used the ball's handle to strike the child in the head, teased the child with the threat of a harder throw, and threw it a final time.
Authorities say the child was visibly upset and crying before the ball was first thrown.
The child's teacher reportedly witnessed the event and did not intervene or report the incident.
A school employee also witnessed the event and notified administration. Administration called the Florida Abuse Hotline, who then reached out to Manatee County Child Protective Services.
Bradley was arrested for child abuse without great harm. He admitted to the allegations and said he did it because the kid wouldn't stop crying. A spokesperson for the Manatee County School District said Bradley has been placed on leave.
Detectives are also working with the state attorney's office about pending charges on the child's teacher for failure to report. We are not naming her since charges have not be filed. A spokesperson for the Manatee County School district said that teacher who allegedly failed to report the incident has been reassigned and does not have contact with students.
The police report also stated Bradley flicked another child in the head for no reason on a different occasion. He also is accused of mocking a child who has a stutter by mimicking the child's stutter in a mocking fashion, according to police records.
"This person violated that trust of a parent, violated the trust of everybody involved, violated the trust of our students," said Thiers.
If anyone has any information on this case, please contact Sergeant Christopher Deshaies at (941) 932-9329.