Po­lice: Care­giver caught on cam­era push­ing, shov­ing dis­abled child

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE - By Krista Tor­ralva Staff Writer

A Port Orange care­giver was caught on home sur­veil­lance footage push­ing, kick­ing and drag­ging a wheel­chair-bound child several times over four hours, po­lice said.

Julie Carter, 62, said she didn’t re­mem­ber hurt­ing the 12-year-old dis­abled child she was hired to care for af­ter po­lice showed her six videos from the home.

The boy’s mother called po­lice Fri­day af­ter watch­ing the footage of Carter’s four-hour shift Thurs­day even­ing. Carter worked for the mother about three years and was em­ployed through Maxim Health Care, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice re­port. The child is di­ag­nosed with Coach Syn­drome. He can’t speak and has lim­ited mo­bil­ity.

In one video, the boy is seen reach­ing for a bowl of food in Carter’s hand as they sit on a couch. Carter then puts the bowl down and smacks the boy twice across his face and head, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice re­port. About 10 min­utes later, Carter pushes the boy off the couch to the ground where his head hits the leg of a piece of fur­ni­ture, the re­port states. The boy is seen strug­gling to get up and reaches for Carter as she sits on the couch.

In an­other video, Carter drags the boy in a walker while he’s im­prop­erly strapped, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. His neck is pushed up­ward, putting pres­sure on his wind­pipe, the re­port states.

“[His mother] de­scribes this po­si­tion as be­ing very painful to [him], and has the pos­si­bil­ity of block­ing his wind­pipe,” Of­fi­cer Diego Munoz wrote in his re­port.

Po­lice no­ti­fied Maxim Health Care and the state De­part­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies. Carter was charged with bat­tery and child abuse. She was taken to the Vo­lu­sia County Jail, where she has since been re­leased on bond.

Carter has been a cer­ti­fied nurs­ing as­sis­tant since May 2013, said Re­becca Kirkham, a spokes­woman with Maxim Health Care. Carter was sus­pended pend­ing the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion out­come, Kirkham said.

Kirkham said a com­pre­hen­sive back­ground check was con­ducted be­fore Carter’s hire, and noth­ing gave Maxim Health Care cause for con­cern.

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