Surveillance released in teacher's alleged abuse
DAVIE, Fla. (WSVN) -- The State Attorney's Office has released the surveillance video of a special needs teacher who is accused of mistreating one of his students and is currently facing four counts of child cruelty and abuse.
The allegations that came to light in 2012 stem from an incident in which, according to prosecutors, David Baier was captured forcibly throwing a 12-year-old autistic student to the floor, then yanking him by his hair and forcing him to stand up. "Now I was going to say if you do that again I'm going to slam you," Baier is heard saying on the security footage.
"No, no, no, no, no," yells the student as Baier approaches him. The teacher grabs the boy by the neck and tosses him on the classroom floor. The boy was being disciplined after reportedly stomping on Baier's foot during a July 27 summer camp field trip off the AEF Preparatory School campus in Davie.
"Get up," Baier said in the footage as he addressed the boy. "You had the opportunity. If you stand for five minutes without annoying me, I'll give you back the chair."
Moments after Baier returned to his desk, the boy crouched down on the floor. "Stand up now," said the teacher.
"I don't wanna," replied the student.
"Good, I was hoping you'd say that," replied Baier. He stood up, approached the student and grabbed him by the hair, forcing him to remain standing. "Now stand up and stay standing or I'm going to have to do something worse," he told the boy.
"Ow," screamed the boy as he ran his hand through the back of his head.
"I didn't think it was going to feel good," said Baier.
The child's face has been obscured to protect his identity, but he can be heard whimpering in the audio, presumably wiping away tears for the five minutes he's supposed to remain standing. "That doesn't work," said Baier as he addressed the boy from behind his desk. "I've got five kids and I love them very much , and crying doesn't help."
In August of 2012 it was Baier himself who was tearful as he bonded out of jail last year. He had no comment to reporters after he was accused of getting physical with the boy in his care.
Moments later, Baier took things a bit further and grabbed the child by his neck and tossed him to the floor.
The child did not appear to be hurt, but his mother, identified as "Wendy" to protect her identity, hired an attorney after hearing her son's tale of what happened. "He says, 'Mommy, he pulled my hair, and he threw me and it hurt,'" she said.
Baier is seen in the video asking the boy why he stepped on his foot. "Do you think that your boredom is more important than stomping my foot?," said Baier. "Why did you do that?"
"Maybe if you weren't so pushy," the student yelled back.
After the family came forward, Baier lost his job at the AEF Preparatory School and now faces four counts of child cruelty and abuse. "I wanted what was best for my son, and I trusted these people," Wendy said.
In August of 2012, Baier was charged with two counts of child cruelty in August. The additional charges he faces, one count each of child abuse, were filed in October of 2012 and March of 2013.
He is currently awaiting trial.
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