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Special-needs student in Virginia abused with push pin, cops say

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Posted at 4:20 PM, May 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-22 18:20:36-04

By Katherine Cavazini

HLNtv.com

(HLNtv.com) — The investigation into abuse allegations of a special-needs student, 13, will continue after two arrests in York County, Virginia, to ensure there are no additional victims, law enforcement officials said.

Two women were arrested in connection with last week’s incident involving the student at the New Horizons Center for Autism in Yorktown.

A school staff member told police that she heard a child screaming in a classroom Friday. When the staff member entered the room, she allegedly witnessed a teacher’s aide chasing the child around.

“Upon catching the child the teacher assistant allegedly began sticking the child several times in the arm with a push pin,” according to a statement from the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office. “When she finally stopped sticking the child with the pin she lifted his shirt and took a cleaning wipe to wipe the wounds, which caused further pain to the child.”

The school said it would fully cooperate with the sheriff’s office and Child Protective Services in the investigation. “Student safety and treatment is a priority,” it said in a statement. “We consider this a very serious matter and will take all appropriate disciplinary and corrective actions.”

Witnesses heard another teacher in the classroom at the time allegedly suggesting a cover-up of the push pin marks by saying they were bug bites, authorities said.

A witness immediately reported the incident to the school administration, which contacted Child Protective Services.

Based on an investigation, warrants were obtained and served on Diane Smith, 45, of Hampton and Darcie Badami, 35, of Yorktown.

Smith was charged with assault and battery as well as contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She has been released from jail.

Badami was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and released on permitted warrants.

HLN was unable to locate the names of attorneys representing Smith and Badami.

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