DAYTON — Charges have been approved for a former Dayton Public Schools employee who was caught on video hitting a nonverbal student and causing him to fall to the ground.
The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office has approved one count of assault and two counts of endangering children in the case against Darrick Sorrells, 56, of Dayton.
As shown on News Center 7 at 5 p.m., the charges stem from the Aug. 21 surveillance video which caught Sorrells, who was an employee at Rosa Parks Early Learning Center at the time, taking care of a 4-year-old special-needs child, previously identified by his parents as Braylen Tootle.
Sorrells was pulling the child in a wagon when Braylen got out of the wagon and took off running. As News Center 7 previously reported, the video showed Sorrells chasing after Braylen. When he caught up to him, Sorrells was seen hitting the child on the head and knocking him down.
Video showed Sorrells picking Braylen up by the ankles and carrying him upside down back down the hallway.
Another employee at the school saw the incident and took the child from Sorrells, according to the prosecutor’s office.
“The video of this incident is disturbing and difficult to watch. It has generated a lot of outrage, both locally and nationally. Parents expect and deserve better from caretakers and should have confidence their children are safe from abuse when at school,” Prosecutor Mat Heck, Jr. said.
After being placed on administrative leave, Sorrells “resigned in lieu of termination.”
News Center 7 spoke to the child’s parents Tuesday. Robert Tootle said he tried to stay patient while a school investigation, police investigation, and prosecutor’s office review took place. He and the child’s mother, Taneshia Lindsay, called the waiting irritating.
“Just from previous experience, I see that it does take awhile but I’m more of just wanting him behind bars and just kind of quickening up that process,” Lindsay said.
Now, they both want to move forward for them and their son.
“I just want to get back to some normalcy,” she said.
Braylen is still being observed by doctors, but Robert is glad Sorrells will be held accountable but said it doesn’t end there.
“I’m not done with it, I still feel like the school is accountable for not letting us know,” he said.
Following the announcement from the prosecutor’s office, the district’s interim superintendent released a statement.
“The District is glad that the judicial system is moving forward in this case. The safety of all Dayton Public Schools students is our utmost priority,” Dr. David Lawrence, Interim Superintendent of Dayton Public Schools, said.
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