DAVIE, Fla. - An employee at the Alternative Education Foundation school in Davie was arrested Wednesday on child abuse charges.
David Baier was charged with two counts of child abuse.
On July 27, video showed Baier being physical with a 12-year-old autistic student, according to an arrest report. The incident happened after the student was put in Baier's care because he was misbehaving on a school field trip.
During the field trip, Davie police said the student became upset after being told he couldn't participate without tying his shoe. He reportedly pushed his shoe in the face of Baier and another staff member and called Baier names.
In the video, the boy was taken to Baier's classroom as punishment, where he was seen fidgeting. Baier instructed the student to stand, and told the student he could get his chair back if he stood still for five minutes, said police.
The boy then crouched and Baier told him to stand again. The boy refused to get up, and Baier grabbed the boy by his hair on the top of his head and pulled him into a standing position, said police.
After being told to sit, Baier and the boy began discussing his behavior on the field trip. Baier was seen walking over in the video and threatening to throw the boy to the ground, said police.
Baier then grabbed the boy by his hair, pulled him from the chair, and threw him to the ground, and pinned him down, said police. Baier then told the boy to get back into his chair.
Police said the boy never appeared physical or violent despite his verbal outburst.
"Withhold judgment. Wait for the whole story to come out," Baier's wife, Ellen old Local 10's Ross Palombo.
She says there is much more to the story, but would not elaborate. She did say that her husband does deal with children with behavior issues.
"Autism, Asperger's, and sometimes physical aggression problems," she said.
Police, though, say the child was not aggressive. They say the entire attack was caught on camera.
"There was no indication of this child being violent in any way," Captain Dale Engle said.
The school itself, AEF Elementary, would not comment.
Davie police have asked any parents who believe their child may have been a victim to call them at 954-693-8200.
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