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story.lead_photo.caption Kay Surratt, 62, of North Little Rock

A former Pulaski County Special School District employee is accused of assaulting an autistic teenager during a bus ride earlier this year, according to court documents.

Kay Surratt, 62, of North Little Rock was arrested Monday on one count of second-degree battery in the assault of the teenager, who has autism and other developmental delays, according to court documents obtained Wednesday. The records show that Surratt is accused of pushing the teenager's head into a bus window and grabbing his throat during a bus trip on Feb. 7.

The teenager's grandmother told police he was diagnosed with a concussion after the assault, and a caregiver to the teenager said he had headaches and memory loss after the incident, according to the documents.

The school district said Surratt, who was fired earlier this year, was a part-time employee and worked as a bus aide.

A Little Rock police report shows the teenager's grandmother reported that Surratt assaulted him on a school bus that was traveling north on Interstate 30.

According to the affidavit, Surratt alleged she had been attacked by the teenager.

Days later, Deborah Roush, a spokesman for the the Pulaski County Special School District, contacted North Little Rock police "to inform them the allegations previously made against [the teenager] were false," according to the court documents.

"Ms. [Roush] had reviewed the video footage from the bus, and reported Ms. Surratt had verbally and physically attacked [the teenager] while he was seated in the bus," according to the affidavit.

Roush also reported, according to the document, that the bus driver and Surratt had been taunting the victim.

Roush said the footage showed Surratt putting her hands around the teenager's neck during the route, according to a North Little Rock police report. The footage, she said, also showed Surratt slamming the teenager's head into the bus window, according to the report.

Little Rock detective Eric Barnes, who had obtained a copy of the bus footage, wrote in the affidavit that there was some discussion among the teenager, the bus driver and Surratt. Shortly after, the teenager touched Surratt's hat. A scuffle began between the two and Surratt grabbed the teenager by the throat, according to the affidavit.

Another scuffle started just before crossing the bridge, the affidavit said. The scuffle ended with Surratt pushing the victim's head into the bus window, the documents read.

"[The teenager] then grabbed at the right side of his head," according to the affidavit. The affidavit said Surratt was verbally abusive toward the teenager during and after the incident, and she continued to taunt the victim before North Little Rock police arrived.

Surratt was suspended from the school district on Feb. 9, pending a district investigation, Roush said in an interview Wednesday. She said Feb. 9 was the same day the district found out about the incident.

Days later, on Feb. 13, Surratt was suspended "pending termination," Roush said. Surratt was fired from the district on March 14, as she did not request a hearing through the school district, she said.

The teenager's grandmother filed a report with the Little Rock Police Department in August, after authorities concluded the incident happened within the city's jurisdiction.

The grandmother, who is also the teenager's legal guardian, gave a taped statement to police in November.

She said Surratt and the bus driver were aware of her grandson's mental state and behavior, according to the affidavit. The grandmother told police she had previously provided a doctor's note saying the teenager had mental retardation, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and disruptive impulse control, along with "functions well below others his own age."

The documents said the grandmother said the teenager was diagnosed with a concussion after the incident.

In an interview in mid-November, a caregiver to the teenager confirmed the concussion and told police the teenager had memory loss and headaches after the incident on the bus, according to the affidavit.


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Metro on 12/14/2017

Print Headline: Police say ex-aide hit autistic boy

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