PENSACOLA, FL (WKRG/CW55) — Three employees of the Gull Point Recreational Center in Pensacola are charged physical and mental abuse of a child with autism.
Police say the abuse was all caught on camera. According to police, surveillance video from the center showed 19-year-old Kemon O’Brian Johnson repeatedly threatening the 12-year-old child with a metal stick, grabbing the boy, then pushing him to the ground.
Police say the video also shows 53-year-old Rose Patton James slapping the boy in the face, and kicking him. Another person, 20-year-old Jarret Peter Clifton is accused of helping Johnson drag the boy out of view of the camera.
Police say the abuse was reported Tuesday by a Department of Children and Families investigator. Police say the three suspects were employed at the Gull Point Recreational Center through Keegan Staffing.
The child was attending a camp there during winter break, and it was his mother who contacted the abuse hotline. Her son, according to a police press release, had told his mother the caregivers had been mean to him.
Police say the motive is still under investigation. However, the surveillance video showed the boy kicking a pipe and his lunch bag across the gym floor but not towards a person. About a dozen other children were in the gym when it happened.
According to police James had worked at the center for approximately three years and Clifton and Johnson had worked for approximately a couple of weeks.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Detective Shannan Briarton at 435 – 1978.