A California nurse has been arrested after nanny-cam footage (below) showed her physically abusing the child she was supposed to be caring for.
Dyana Ko decided to use her phone to check in on her 2-year-old son with special needs, Landon, according to WPVI. Both she and her husband were out of the house and they left their child with home health care nurse Thelma Manalastas.
When Ko logged on to the nanny cam, she was shocked to see Manalastas beating her son. While Landon lay in his crib crying, Manalastas slapped and violently shook him. At one point, she rolled up a magazine and began hitting him with it.
"I mean there were at least thirty pinches, thirty hits. Smacks on the head. Smacks with a magazine. Her being rough and throwing him in his seat. It was just unbelievable," said Dyana.
Dyana and her husband were at least 20 minutes away from their house, attending their other son's basketball game, KCAL reports.
"I told the other moms. I said I think I see my special needs baby being abused. I think I’m going to pass out," said Dyana.
She immediately called 911 and police rushed to the house, arresting Manalastas.
Landon suffers from Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that is characterized by physical and intellectual disability, according to Genetics Home Reference. Those with the condition commonly have eye abnormalities, heart and kidney defects and dental problems. The condition affects 1 in 100,000 newborns.
"He’s not verbal. He’s already blind in one eye. And he’s 100 percent fed by a feeding tube," Dyana told KCAL.
Maxim Healthcare Services, the company that employs Manalastas, confirmed in a statement that they have contacted the California Board of Nursing and will fully cooperate in any investigative matters.
"Upon learning of this incident, we conducted an investigation that resulted in the termination of Ms. Manalastas’ employment with Maxim," the statement read. "We have notified the California Board of Nursing and will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities as they investigate this matter."
The Ko family has filed a lawsuit against Maxim and the nurse for the abuse.
"The worst case I’ve ever seen of somebody taking advantage -- where you have a vulnerable party and a powerful party," said the family's lawyer, Scott Dinsmore.
A lawsuit, however, won't undo the trauma Dyana endured while helplessly watching her child being beaten. She's now afraid to leave her son's side.
"I just feel like as his parents, we failed him, because we left someone to take care of him," she said.