The two childcare workers who filmed themselves abusing an 8-year-old autistic boy are now in custody, according to Florida’s Channel 10 WTSP.
Twenty-six-year-old Kadericca Smith and 19-year-old Alexis Henderson turned themselves into Winter Haven Police Department after the video they shot went viral.
The three-minute video, which can be seen in full at NBC affiliate WFLA, shows the women taunting and abusing the boy, who appears to be in the middle of an emotional outburst. They can be seen throwing a book bag and shoes at him. “Fall on your face,” they can be heard saying at one point, later calling him a chicken and mocking him with clucking noises. At another point, one of the women holds the boy’s arms apart and kicks his legs out from under him, causing him to fall.
Police became aware of the video on September 1, after it was uploaded to Snapchat. The incident occurred at Our Children's Academy in Winter Haven, Florida. According to the school's website, the school has over 175 students, from 3-years-old to 12th grade, and serves children with “mental, physical, and emotional disabilities.”
According to Tampa’s FOX 13, police say Smith and Henderson were certified to work with children with autism. Following the incident, they were both fired from their positions and The Department of Children and Families has placed their teaching certifications on hold.
According to The Washington Post, the 8-year-old victim has been diagnosed with austim, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (commonly known as ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (commonly known as ODD).
When police initially interviewed Smith and Henderson on September 15, a police source told FOX 13 “they defended what they had done as being the appropriate thing to deal with this child.” After police determined a criminal act had occurred, they were initially unable to apprehend the women.
After turning themselves into police this morning, both women were booked into the Polk County Jail. Henderson was charged with Child Neglect and has posted bond. Smith meanwhile faces charges of Child Abuse and Battery is being held without bond.
[Photo: Polk County Jail]