Teacher’s Reported Abuse Of Autistic Boy Caught On Camera
DAVIE (CBS4) – The actions of an alternative school teacher accused of abusing a 12-year boy with autism were caught on camera.
On Monday, Broward County prosecutors released the video which shows David Baier pulling the boy’s hair and throwing him to the ground.
The incident happened last August at the Alternative Education Foundation (AEF) at 4650 SW 61st Avenue in Davie. On the video, prosecutors said David Baier can be seen punishing the boy for misbehaving on a field trip.
Baier reportedly began by scolding the child for being fidgety and not staying still in his seat. On the video, Baier is heard telling the boy to “Get up.” Seconds later after the boy gets out of his chair, Baier tells the boy “You lost the chair. Get up, you gotta stand.”
Baier tells the child, “If you can stand for 5 minutes without annoying me I’ll give you back the chair.”
As the boy crouched down, Baier ordered him to “Stand up now.”
“I don’t wanna,” replied the boy.
Baier is heard laughing and saying, “Good. I was hoping you’d say that. Now, stand up and face me or I’m gonna have to do something worse. Do you understand?”
On the video Baier is seen pulling the boy up by his hair.
A short time later, police said Baier and the child are talking about the child’s poor behavior on the day’s field trip when the boy put his shoe in Baier’s face.
On the video, Baier gets upset and tells the boy, “I was gonna say if you do that again, I’m going to slam you but…” The boy is heard saying, “No, no, no, no,” and cowering in fear.
Baier is seen tossing the child onto the ground headfirst. The child quickly sits back down and starts crying.
CBS4 spoke to the child’s mother last year. She told us her son complained about his head hurting and told her that Baier was the person who hurt him.
“The thought of somebody doing this to my son and hurting him and putting him through that and not caring,” Wendy said.
Lynn Vogel, a mom whose child just started at AEF Preparatory School where Baier taught, hopes the incident was isolated.
Shortly after Baier was arrested last summer, another student came forward and filed a police report accusing Baier, and other teachers at the school, of using hot sauce as a punishment tool.
“They made me have a spoonful of hot sauce. I vomited, and they still made me finish the rest of the spoonful,” said Sean Hartman.
Another mother, who preferred to remain unidentified, said she took her 7-year-old daughter, who has autism, out of the school last year after her daughter’s behavior changed.
“She was a lovely kid when she was coming here. One year was OK, but the next year she started kicking and pushing a lot,” she said.
She believes her daughter was mistreated at the school, and said she saw other children being punished in unorthodox ways.
“One time when I came here I found the teacher put a kid in time out, doing exercises in the sun, they put him flat on the floor with his face in the sun,” said the mother.
The school has refused to comment on the child abuse charges Baier faces and officials here have called police to try to stop the media from speaking with parents.
It’s not clear at this point if Baier still works at the school, though Vogel, who said she is confident her child is safe at the school, doesn’t think so.
“It’s a very good school and I’m sure they’re going to take care of the problem,” said Vogel.
CBS4 tried to speak with Baier today, but were referred to his attorney, who has yet to call back.
Baier, facing two battery charges, bonded out of jail and is scheduled for a court hearing next month.