Police: Abuse of Autistic Child Caught on Camera at Rec Center

Courtesy: Escambia County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy: Escambia County Sheriff’s Office

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.

Courtesy: Escambia County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy: Escambia County Sheriff’s Office

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.

Courtesy: Escambia Co. Sheriff's Office
Courtesy: Escambia Co. Sheriff’s Office

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.

 

 

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