A pediatric dentist from Jacksonville, Florida, has been accused of choking, abusing, and performing unnecessary painful procedures on several children in an attempt to collect money from Medicaid.
For three weeks, parents have protested (video below) outside the offices of Dr. Howard Schneider, 78, because they say the dentist abused their children, pulled teeth without anesthetics, and performed several unwanted procedures, reports WAFB.
Mom Brandi Motley inspired other parents to come forward and share their stories after she claims her 6-year-old daughter, Bri'el, was tortured by Schneider after she took her to his office to have one tooth pulled. Motley told CNN that she was asked to sit in the waiting room because children tend to behave better without their parents present. Three hours later, Motley says a nurse told her there had been an "incident." Instead of pulling one tooth, Schneider reportedly pulled seven. The little girl was bleeding, had marks all over, and needed to be rushed to the emergency room, according to Motley.
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Motley says Bri'el later told her that Schneider had choked and hit her. She says she called police twice, but the Jacksonville Sheriff's office reportedly told CNN only one report was written.
The mom posted photos of her daughter's mouth on Facebook and they went viral. They also prompted other parents whose children were patients of Schneider's to post their own photos:
Other reports began flooding in about Schneider. The mother of a 5-year-old claims the dentist grabbed her daughter's face and "slapped her face several times," according to a 2013 police report. A police officer also acknowledged there was a "small scratch behind the victim's ear."
Schneider has reportedly made a fortune from Medicaid for the procedures, receiving nearly $4 million in Medicaid reimbursements in the last five years alone.
Schneider has denied abusing children. CNN reportedly tried to contact him five times, but he refused to speak to reporters. When confronted in the parking lot of his office, he reportedly said, "They're not correct and that's it. I want to be left alone, OK?"
But parents are continuing to protest outside of his office and are demanding that he be sent to jail and not be allowed to practice. One mother reportedly attacked Schneider at his office:
A class-action lawsuit was filed Wednesday, in which at least 60 of Schneider's alleged victims were identified — and there could possibly be as many as 1,000 — many of whom are now adults, reports the Daily Mail. The suit seeks damages of more than $15,000 and a jury trial.
Video of Schneider performing a procedure, as well as the protest, can be viewed here:
Attorney Gust Harris reportedly says he has spoken with former patients who are now as old as 48 and that they all share similar stories about the dentist.
"When enough people come together, and they're all telling the same story, then certainly there's a lot more creeds," he told CNN. "And right now a lot of people are coming forward."
Photo Credit: Daily Mail