A former New York paraprofessional refuses to apologize for punching an 11-year-old boy who has autism in the face at a school cafeteria even though he pleaded guilty (video below).
Brooklyn resident Milton Parker says the punch he gave the boy was a “reflex” in response to the boy hitting him first at Public School 225 in Brighton Beach, New York. The parents of Anatoly Veltman are suing both Parker and the city.
“Who gets hit and doesn’t respond?” Parker asked New York Daily News. “The kid punched me in the eye first and as a reflex he got hit back.”
Video (below) of the Aug. 7, 2014 beating was ordered to be released by a judge after the plaintiffs refused to hand it over for more than a year. It has since been posted on YouTube. Parker believes the recording substantiates his claims.
“I knew it was on camera,” Parker, 59, said. “If it was intentional, I would have taken him to another room and beaten the snot out of him.”
Parker is a 26-year veteran of the Department of Education and filed for retirement shortly after the incident and collects a pension. Parker was originally charged with felony assault, but pleaded guilty in April 2015 to misdemeanor assault and was ordered to attend anger management classes, according to New York Daily News.
Parker chastised Anatoly for spilling ice and throwing a napkin on the floor. He says it was the first time he’s ever been hit by a student.
Anatoly told Parker, who is black, “This table is for whites only,” according to school records.
The boy later apologized for the comment and then punched Parker. The man responded with a heavy knock to Anatoly’s head, resulting in a concussion.
Anatoly Veltman Sr., the boy’s father, says he was shocked by the violence he saw in the video.
“I was very upset to see my son abused by someone entrusted to care for him,” he said.
The Veltmans are also suing the city.
“The Department of Education has a duty and responsibility to better train their paraprofessionals so a shocking incident like this does not occur,” said lawyer Scott Rynecki, who is representing the Veltmans.
Parker is representing himself in the case because he can’t afford a lawyer.
“My whole life was destroyed because of this one incident,” Parker said.