WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – Warrants have been issued for the arrest of two childcare workers accused of berating, taunting and throwing a backpack at an eight-year-old child with autism.
On September 1, Winter Haven police were alerted to a Snapchat video posted by Kaderrica Smith, 26, and Alexis Henderson, 19.
The video showed the women taunting, aggravating, yelling at and tripping a student at Our Children’s Academy.
The eight-year-old boy, who was diagnosed with austim, ADHD, ODD and severe outbursts is seen and heard crying and hiding underneath a table as the women continue to taunt him.
The video shows the child coming out from under the table and attempting to run towards one of the women when she grabs him and trips him, causing the child to fall on his back.
At another point, one of the women is showing throwing a backpack at the child, which hits him in the face.
The video lasts approximately three minutes and shows the child reacting to the taunting.
Henderson and Smith said in an initial interview they felt they were acting appropriately and they did nothing wrong, according to police.
“These workers were supposed to be trained in how to handle children with behavioral issues,” said Police Chief Charlie Bird. “They are trained to deescalate situations, but that obviously did not happen.”
The facility immediately fired both Henderson and Smith and placed a hold on their certifications so they could not be re-employed by any place working with children during the investigation.
The child was interview by DCF and it was determined both Henderson and Smith committed criminal acts in dealing with him.
Kaderrica Smith is being charged with battery and child abuse. Alexus Henderson is being charged with child neglect.
Police have not been able to locate the women and warrants for their arrests have been obtained.
Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS. Calls can remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward.
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