School Bus Aide Accused of Beating Man Who Suffers Severe Autism, Spraying Him with Lysol
The school bus aide repeatedly hit and kicked the man who suffers from severe autism, according to police.
A Colorado school bus assistant repeatedly kicked and hit a 20-year-old man with autism and doused him in the face with Lysol, according to an arrest affidavit.
Monica Burke, 51, was arrested and charged with six counts of second-degree assault, 16 counts of third-degree assault and 16 counts of crimes against an at-risk adult, according to the document obtained by InsideEdition.com.
Burke was arrested on Dec. 15 after she turned herself in to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office last week. She is free on $10,000 bail, according to online court records.
The charges stemmed from a review of bus surveillance tapes by Longmont Police Det. Mark Cooper, the affidavit said.
The video showed the man, who is unable to speak, being “repeatedly sprayed, kicked, hit and otherwise demeaned, insulted and verbally victimized” by Burke, Cooper wrote in his court request for an arrest warrant.
Cooper began looking at the tapes, which covered a one-week period in August, after a school employee reported seeing Burke strike the young man on the bus.
He attended the Firefly Autism school in Denver, and daily rode the bus that ferried at-risk and special-needs students to special area schools, police said.
The man was never seen being aggressive toward Burke, the detective said. She hit and kicked him many times over the week, he said, and continually sprayed his face and body with Lysol while berating him for having offensive body odor.
“Disgusting,” she could be heard telling him on the bus, Cooper stated. “You have to do that the minute you get on the bus? You’re so disgusting.”
The man raised his arms to shield himself, the court document said.
The student’s mother began noticing about the same time that he scratched and picked his skin to the point of bleeding, she told Cooper.
He and his mother had become so sensitized to Burke’s complaints that his family bathed him twice a day and liberally applied deodorant before he left for the bus, the mom told Cooper, according to the affidavit.
The detective viewed 42 video clips, which showed “a pattern of assaultive behavior” by Burke toward the man, Cooper wrote.
Burke was placed on administrative leave by the Street Vrain Valley School District after the school employee reported seeing her strike the student.
In a written statement she made to the district, Burke denied any inappropriate contact with the man, the affidavit states.
She is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 30.
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