Tag Archives: Physical Abuse

TN Special Needs Child Roughed Up And Abused

.jpg photo of teacher charged with Child Abuse
Bonnie Conn, 49

Former Clarksville kindergarten teacher
arrested on Child Abuse charges

Clarksville, TN  –  A former kindergarten teacher in Clarksville has been arrested on child abuse charges.

Bonnie Conn, 49, who taught kindergarten at St. Bethlehem Elementary School, is charged with two counts of child abuse.

According to the sheriff’s office, Conn was arrested Wednesday and was being held on $15,000 bond.

Earlier this month, the mother of a student filed a federal lawsuit against the Clarksville-Montgomery County Board of Education and Conn claiming that her autistic son was mistreated by Conn after a video surfaced which showed Conn dragging the boy out of her classroom by the arm on two occasions.

A Montgomery County grand jury returned an indictment this month, charging Conn with two counts of child abuse.  According to the indictment, Conn abused a child under the age of 8 “so as to adversely affect the child’s health and welfare” on Jan. 23 and Jan. 27.

The indictment does not identify the child or mother in the criminal case, but the dates correspond with those involving the autistic child.

According to the federal lawsuit, Feltonas Wells is the mother of a 6-year-old student who was placed in Conn’s classroom at the school in the fall of 2016.

The lawsuit alleges that the child’s Constitutional rights were violated among other issues.

The child is diagnosed with severe Autism syndrome and qualified as a student with “developmental delay” based on Tennessee Department of Education guidelines.

Wells first became concerned about the “sad faces” her son was receiving on his daily chart reportedly for poor behavior in class.

On Feb. 2, 2017, Wells went to the school to drop off another child and found that her son was being punished by being forced to lay on a cot isolated from the classroom and facing away from the teacher and other students.

She removed the boy and took him home.

The next day her son begged his mother not to make him go to school because “he didn’t want to be bad anymore,” according to the lawsuit.

A principal called and said he would be assigned to a new teacher so his mother returned him to school.

On Feb. 9, Wells received a phone call from Principal Melisse Williams, who seemed to be crying as she told the mother that she witnessed video footage of her son being pushed by Conn and had reported the abuse to the Department of Children Services, according to the lawsuit.

On Feb. 10, Wells went to the school and was allowed to view a surveillance camera outside Conn’s classroom.

“To Ms. Wells’ shock and surprise, the video revealed Ms. Conn violently dragging (the boy) out of the classroom by one arm and then pushing him with her foot to get him out of the doorway,” the lawsuit said.  “She then shut the door causing it to strike (the boy) on his head.  Ms. Conn left (the boy) alone in the hallway and returned to her classroom.  (The boy) is shown holding his head and crying following the physical assault.”

When Wells asked why her son was put back in Conn’s classroom, she was told that Conn was undergoing anger management counseling and the number of students had been reduced so she would not become overwhelmed, the lawsuit said.

Wells removed the boy from the school and enrolled him in another local school.

According to Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools Spokeswoman Elise Shelton, Conn was hired in 2005, placed on alternative work site on Feb. 10 and resigned Feb. 16.

Hot Vehicles Claim 2 AZ Children

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Hot Vehicles Claim 2 AZ Children. #VehiclesAreNotBabySitters

2 Babies die in Phoenix after being left in
hot cars

PHOENIX, AZ  –  For the second time in two days, a baby boy has died after being left for hours in a hot car.

Phoenix police and fire officials were called out at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday to a Church of God in Christ after witnesses called 911.

Fire officials arrived and pronounced 1-year-old Josiah Riggins dead.

Police:  Father forgot baby was in the car

Phoenix police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said Josiah was in the care of his father at the time of his death.

“Our initial investigation is saying that the father forgot the baby was in the car,” Fortune said.  “The child was unresponsive and had been left in the vehicle for several hours.”

Parents in TN hot car toddler death charged with felony murder

Fortune said investigators were still interviewing the parents to determine exactly what happened.  The baby had not been in the church parking lot for hours; Fortune said the car had been elsewhere before the father drove to the church.

She said she didn’t know where the car had been or why it had ended up at the church.

“Everyone is cooperative,” Fortune said.  “It’s the death of a child. It’s a tragedy.”

No arrests had been made as of Saturday night, Fortune said.

Family members began gathering at the church to support the parents shortly after it happened.

“It’s shocking, devastating, just sad,” said Zettica Mitchell, who said she was a cousin of the baby’s father.  “You feel like it’s something that could happen to anybody.”

She said she had come to the church to support the family, and mentioned hearing about the other baby that had died similarly Friday.

Second death in two days

This death came just 24 hours after 7-month-old Zane Endress died after being left in a car in northeast Phoenix for about four hours, according to Phoenix police.

The boy was in the care of his grandparents at the time, police reported.

These two are the first cases of a child dying in a hot car in Maricopa County this year.  There was at least one death last year.

Fortune reminded parents to take time to check their backseats for their children.

“We hear that parents are saying they forgot their babies in their vehicles,” she said.  “Take some time, again, to look inside your vehicle … to just avoid these tragedies.”

In October, 5-month-old Israel Sebastian Avila died after being left unattended in a car for about four hours.

The baby’s aunt and her boyfriend had been babysitting the child, according to Peoria police officials.  They dropped the baby’s mother off at work and then returned home, reporting that they forgot the baby was in the car until they got back in the car to pick the mother up from work.

MA Father Snaps Over Snapchat App

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Father simply wanted to see the girl’s phone.

Judge keeps father in custody in Child Abuse case

PEABODY, MA  –  A Peabody father charged with grabbing his 11-year-old daughter by the throat and hitting her with a belt after learning she had the Snapchat app on her phone will remain in custody until trial, a Peabody District Court judge ruled on Friday.

Judge James Barretto made the ruling following a hearing where Sean Nguyen’s sister, Michelle Nguyen, testified that she was misquoted in a police report about the June 17 incident. Michelle Nguyen told the judge Friday that she never saw her brother hitting the child with a belt, despite what it says in a Peabody police report.

Barretto was not convinced, saying he did not find her testimony on Friday to be credible.

Sean Nguyen, 31, of 2 Aborn St., Peabody, has pleaded not guilty to strangulation and assault and battery on a child causing injury.

The incident occurred late Saturday night, while Sean Nguyen’s daughter was visiting him for the weekend.  He learned that the girl had installed the Snapchat application on the phone, and wanted to see if there were any inappropriate photos.

Michelle Nguyen, who was called as a defense witness Friday, testified that she was downstairs in her own apartment when she heard yelling and screaming, and went upstairs, where she found her brother and his daughter in the girl’s room.

“I want the phone,” he said. “I want to see the pictures.”

“Chino, you need to chill,” she said she told her brother.  “That’s when I grabbed her.”

Michelle Nguyen told the judge that she took the girl to her apartment downstairs, and then to her sister Vikki’s home in Salem.

From there, they took the girl to the Salem police station.

Prosecutor Deirdre Foley suggested that the actions of both of the defendant’s sisters that evening show that they were concerned for the girl’s well-being.

“Ms. Nguyen cared enough, and was concerned enough, to take her niece out of the home,” said Foley.  “They were telling him, ‘Calm down, Chino.’  He was angry.  It’s fair to infer that he was out of control.”

Foley said Sean Nguyen’s response to discovering the Snapchat app was “beyond anything that could ever be considered reasonable.”

‘Responsible and loving’

Sean Nguyen’s lawyer, Kevin Chapman, pointed to a Department of Children and Families report that says the girl told investigators it was the first time her father had acted aggressively toward her.

The girl’s mother also expressed surprise at the allegations, Chapman said, citing the DCF report.  She told investigators that Sean Nguyen had “never been abusive” to either her or their child.

“He has always been responsible and loving toward this child,” Chapman said, citing the mother’s statement to DCF.

He noted that the girl’s mother, who has custody of the girl and lives in another county, has not sought a restraining order.  The girl was also described in the DCF report as being “not afraid” of her father, he said.

Chapman argued that police have overcharged his client, noting that while Sean Nguyen is facing a charge of assault and battery on a child causing injury, police found no marks on the girl and there is no evidence she suffered any physical injury.

He told the judge he plans to seek dismissal of that count at the next hearing in the case on July 17.

Sean Nguyen was visibly upset during the hearing, and after the judge’s ruling ordering that he remain in custody, he tried to address the judge directly.

“As a father,” he began, before being cut off by his lawyer and the judge.

Chapman said outside court that he plans to appeal Barretto’s decision to a Superior Court judge.

Because of extensive coverage of the case on local television earlier in the week, Sean Nguyen has been held in an administrative segregation unit at the Middleton Jail, his attorney said.

CA Mother On Trial For Failing To Protect Son

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How can any human being ignore the abuse of a Child….

Doctors testify in trial of South Valley
mother, accused of Child Abuse

VISALIA, CA  –  In the South Valley, a trial is underway for a mother charged with child abuse for failing to protect her son.

It’s been more than three years since Jimmy Horton died at the age of four, and more than four years since he was first brought to Kaweah Delta Urgent Care, unresponsive.

His mother, 33-year-old Desie Horton, is charged with felony child abuse with a special allegation of willful harm or injury resulting in jimmy’s death in February of 2014.  Her then boyfriend, Trevor Bishop, has already been convicted of second-degree murder and assault on Jimmy causing his death.

Thursday, a couple of familiar faces from Bishop’s trial took the witness stand again.

Dr. Gary Walter performed Jimmy’s autopsy, and examined his brain.

“It showed swelling, it showed evidence of an old subarachnoid hemorrhage, and it also showed a larger area of concave pressing in of the brain tissue itself where an old subdural hemorrhage had been,” Walter said.

Dr. Walter concluded the child’s cause of death to be anoxic encephalopathy due to blunt force trauma to the head.

In April, testimony revealed Trevor Bishop provided police with two explanations for Jimmy’s injuries-a slip in the bathtub, and falling after bishop tossed him in the air.

At the time, child abuse expert Dr. Frederic Bruhn said those stories would not account for Jimmy’s subdural hematoma.

“There was no evidence that Jimmy had a bleeding problem to account for either his bruises or his subdural hematoma,” Bruhn said.

Thursday, Bruhn reviewed numerous photos of Jimmy’s bruises both before and after he was hospitalized.  Some he called pattern bruises-those that conform to the shape of an object, such as a hand. He described many as unusual, suspicious, or non-accidental.

“I think there’s no question that many of these injuries are inflicted,” Bruhn said.

Horton’s trial will resume Friday afternoon.  She faces a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted of all the charges.

Waco TX Day Care Owner And Worker Arrested

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“..victims were all between 10 months and 2-years-old.”

Arrest affidavits describe daycare workers pulling hair, ears and knocking
children down

WACO, TX  –  One local daycare worker and her employee have been arrested on allegations of child abuse.

Pepper Jones, who owns Miss Pepper’s Place in Waco, was arrested and charged with six counts of endangering a child and one count of injury to a child.

The daycare is located on 3800 Lasker Avenue.  Jones was arrested at 6:20 p.m. Thursday by Waco police.

Brittany “Starr” Hale was also arrested and charged with six counts of injury to a child.

According to the Waco Police Department, the victims in these cases were all children between the ages of 10 months and 2-years-old.

“You put your children in care of others as a necessity and unfortunately things like this can occur.  Again this is a shock this community,” Sgt. Patrick Swanton said.

Jones’ bond was set at $21,000, but bonded out.  Hale was held on a $24,000 bond before bonding out.

The investigation is still on-going, and Jones and Hale could face additional charges.

Jones is also the co-founder of No Limitations Athletics, a ministry of the Central United Methodist Church in Waco.  No Limitations Athletics provides the special needs community a chance to play sports.

News Channel 25 obtained 12 arrest affidavits, warrants and complaints related to the incident.

One affidavit said that Jones called one child’s mother saying something was wrong with the child’s shoulder.  She said the child had been injured during a wrestling incident with another child.

However, after reviewing the video, police said that the child was not injured during the wresting incident.  The affidavit said after a nine minute window where the child is not seen, the child returns holding his arm, and his demeanor had changed.

Another affidavit said one victim was sitting on the floor, and Hale forcibly grabbed the victim by the head and pulled the victim forward on the floor.

Another affidavit said that the another victim was playing, and Hale grabbed her by her pigtail to move her.  The victim fell to her knees in this incident, so Hale held on to her hair until the girl put a toy away.

Katie Van Antwerp, the aunt of the toddler in question, said this week, the mother learned about the incident involving her child, which she said surfaced after detectives reviewed additional footage from the daycare.

“She was team Pepper all the way.  Finding out the news, it was shocking and devastating to her because you would’ve never thought it,” Van Antwerp said.

She added this daycare had a waiting list because parents trusted Jones.

“The parents will not forget.  The kids have a chance of not knowing what happened here but the parents are going to live with it forever and I hate that for them.  No parent deserves that,” Van Antwerp said.

Another incident described another child playing with a toy when Hale grabbed the victim by the ear and brought her to the opposite side of the room to put the toy away.  The affidavit said video shows the victim wincing in pain.

Another separate incident describes Hale hitting the same victim that dislocated his shoulder on the butt.  The victim goes to return a toy and sits down next to the toy bin.  Before the victim can put the toy away, Hale grabs him on both sides of his head, pulling him off the floor to make him stand.

One incident said Hale knocked a child off a bench and onto the floor.  The affidavit said Hale used enough force to cause the victim’s head to snap back as she falls to the floor.

One affidavit said Hale grabbed the 10-month-old victim by the arm from the floor and forcefully sat her down.  In the video, the 10 month old falls backwards, and Hale forcefully grabs the victim’s left hand to snap the child’s head back up with force.

According to the Department of Family Protective Services, a representative from Miss Pepper’s Place told the Childcare Licensing, the daycare will not reopen and will return its license.  At this point, DFPS has not received confirmation whether it was returned.  The daycare has been licensed since 2013 and it had a capacity of serving 12 children, according to DPFS.

Jones’ attorney, Seth Sutton, sent out this statement:

“Pepper Jones has a long history of serving the kids of the Waco community, especially those with disabilities.  We take any allegation of child injury very seriously and have already begun working with authorities to ensure a proper outcome to this situation.  I ask that you respect the family’s privacy.  We won’t have any further comment until after I’ve had an opportunity to review the relevant evidence in the case.”

No Limitations Athletics released a statement Friday evening:

“No Limitations Athletics is aware of the allegations against one of our co-founders who, in addition to being a founder, has been one of the most active volunteers and most ardent advocates for our community.  She has, in the best interest of our organization, resigned effective immediately.  She will have no involvement with No Limitations Athletics pending the resolution of this matter.”