A Conway man who was terminated in April from his position as a teacher at a local childcare facility was arrested on Monday and charged with second-degree assault.
Lonnie Lee Harris, 55, was taken into custody for his alleged involvement in the April 6 shaking of an autistic 4-year-old boy at Milestones Day School, a Conway-based childcare program that operates under the umbrella of the Faulkner County Day School and serves children with developmental delays.
The mother of the victim filed a police report on April 9 after she said school officials contacted her to tell her that Harris had been terminated from his position for reportedly picking her son up by the arms and shaking him "because he was throwing rocks."
The woman was not allowed to view video surveillance of the incident, but was given a report indicating that the school’s nurse, identified as Lisa Lawrence, "assessed (his) upper body for any type of redness, bruises and made sure his eyes reacted normally."
"No marks found," the report reads. "His pupils were normal and reacted to light normally. Child happy with normal range of motion."
The mother of the victim told police school officials were "so secretive" following the incident that she took her son to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock for a second examination.
Neither hospital staff nor the woman found any visible injuries to the boy, but the woman said her son was "unusually sensitive" any time she touched his arms over the next few days, including during an attempt at checking his blood pressure with an arm cuff.
The incident was also reported by police to the Child Abuse Hotline, who opened their own investigation into the incident.
Harris is being held at a Faulkner County jail pending a first appearance.
(Megan Reynolds is a staff writer and can be reached at 505-1277 or by e-mail at email@example.com. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net.)