2 Florida Childcare Workers Allegedly Taunted, Tormented Boy With Autism on Video Posted to Snapchat

Snapchat video footage shows the workers "berating, taunting and throwing a backpack" at the boy, police allege

Florida authorities are searching for two childcare workers allegedly caught on Snapchat video footage “berating, taunting and throwing a backpack” at an 8-year-old child with autism, according to a statement from Winter Haven Police obtained by PEOPLE.

Suspects Kaderrica Smith, 26, and Alexus Henderson, 19, were employees of Our Children’s Academy, the statement says.

Warrants have been issued for the arrests of Smith, who is charged with battery and child abuse, and Henderson, who faces a single count of child neglect.

The footage, which runs 3 minutes, allegedly shows the boy hiding underneath a table, crying, as Henderson and Smith ridicule and berate him. Authorities were made aware of the footage on Sept. 1.

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kaderrica-smith
Winter Haven Police Department

The police statement alleges that “at one point, the child comes from under the table, runs around the room and attempts to run towards one of the workers when she grabs his arms and does a ‘leg sweep’ causing the child to fall flat on his back.”

Later in the video, one of the workers “is shown throwing shoes and a backpack at the child.”

Police allege the video shows the boy reacting to the abuse in “both a verbal and physical manner.”

The statement says both Henderson and Smith allegedly told their employers they had acted appropriately and did nothing wrong. Both were fired from Our Children’s Academy.

Henderson and Smith have had their certifications suspended, preventing them from getting another job working with children.

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The warrant for their arrest was issued Thursday, nearly a week after detectives interviewed the alleged victim.

PEOPLE was unable to reach Henderson or Smith Friday, and calls to relatives went unreturned.

Police are enlisting the public’s help in their search for the two women.

Anyone with information is asked to call (800) 226-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

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