Autistic Boy Recovering After School Bus Attendant Choked Him
South Florida Crime
FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Surveillance video released Friday showed a student on a Broward school bus writhing in pain as the harness that’s supposed to be for his protection is used to hurt him instead.
The student is a 13-year-old autistic boy from Westglades Middle School in Parkland, investigators with the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.
“Ow, you’re hurting me,” the boy said as a man, identified as school bus attendant Darryl Blue, yanks on his harness from behind, detectives said.
Click below to see and hear the surveillance video.
The boy’s mother, Bertis Paulino, is outraged.
“He was pleading and howling like an animal in pain. ‘You hurting me. You hurting me. My neck hurt.’ This went on for almost an hour,” Paulino said.
Darryl Blue has been charged with aggravated child abuse. He is out of jail on bond.
“It’s a horrible situation that resulted in a arrested,” said Veda Coleman-Wright, a spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff’s Office. “We believe what he did was criminal.”
Blue’s sister, who did not want to give her name, told CBS 4 News her brother is a loving man.
“He’s really shaken about it. It’s not something he would normally do. It’s not. There was no intention to hurt the child,” she said.
Blue was not the only adult on the bus. The driver, Chelsi Edwards, can be heard laughing during the incident. She was suspended, and now Paulino wants to take action.
“I pressed charges against Mr. Blue, but I also should have pressed charges against the driver because she was the first one instigating for my son to be hurt.”
On-board surveillance cameras captured the incident as other students looked on.
“It is very difficult to watch this video,” Coleman-Wright said. “It’s very disturbing.”
Paulino watched it for the first time Friday, more than a month after the October 9th incident.
“I couldn’t take it,” Paulino said. “I asked Detective Ventura to forward the video because I couldn’t take it.”
Paulino said her boy is traumatized.
“No parent should go through this,” Paulino said fighting back tears. “I have given my son a very good life and now his life is shattered.”
Paulino said her son hasn’t been sleeping and he’s afraid to ride the bus to school.
She plans on taking him to see a therapist to work through some of that aggression and fear.