The New York Daily News reports that a paraprofessional at a Brooklyn public school has been arrested on felony assault charges for striking an 11-year-old autistic boy.
Anatoly Veltman, Jr. — who has the cognitive and social skills of a 6-year-old — had spilled some water on the cafeteria floor during a summer school session, and Milton Parker, a paraprofessional who is supposed to be trained to handle children like Anatoly, told him to clean it up. The boy failed to understand Parker’s command, and after a brief exchange of words, Parker grabbed the boy and struck him in the face.
Anatoly’s father told The Daily News that “the police officer told me Parker said my son said ‘something racial’ to him,” but that when he spoke to his son, “all he could say was that he told [Parker] to ‘keep your hands to yourself.'”
“Children in the care of these paraprofessionals should be protected one hundred percent,” his father said. “I could never imagine in my worst dream that this could happen.”
Anatoly was taken to Coney Island Hospital for treatment, as doctors believe he may have suffered a concussion during the incident.
After reviewing video evidence of the incident — which was captured on school security cameras — police arrested Parker for felony assault and endangering the welfare of a minor, as well as related charges of menacing and harassment.
He has been suspended without pay.
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