WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – The two childcare workers who were seen taunting and abusing an 8-year-old autistic boy in a Snapchat video have turned themselves in to authorities.
A Winter Haven Police Department spokesperson said Kaderrica Smith and Alexus Henderson were booked into the Polk County Jail after they turned themselves in.
Henderson, who was charged with child neglect, has bonded out.
Smith, who faces charges of child abuse and battery is being held without bond. Smith will have first appearance today.
The 8-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 shown 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.