OCALA, Fla.-- Action News uncovered a local rehabilitation treatment center for children is under fire after police say an employee broke a child's arm.
Page after page details a horrific scene inside the Vines facility. A 13-year-old boy's arm was snapped like a chicken wing.
What's even more concerning to Ocala police is a state agency report that shows employees at The Vines waited 12 hours before taking the teen to the hospital. In fact, the report says he was just given Tylenol.
"That delay is something that shouldn't occur," said Sgt. Angy Scroble.
Police say the teen's broken arm was caused by Lenox Seepersad, who is a mental health technician at the Vines. We went to Seepersad's home to ask him about the allegations. "I did not touch that child," said Seepersad.
Police tell us they have surveillance video that contradicts Seepersad's story. "It's the area between the elbow and shoulder and it's hard to break that without a great amount of force," said Scroble.
We did some checking and found out this isn't the first time the hospital has been investigated. Ocala police have 56 incidents on record since Nov. 1 of last year. DCF told us it has five open investigations.
We went to the hospital for answers but were sent away with a statement that reads: "Leadership at the Vines Hospital is working collaboratively with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to address and resolve any of their concerns in order to lift the current admissions suspension. The Vines Hospital remains fully licensed by the agency and is totally operational with no disruption of services. The management and staff of the hospital takes the safety and well-being of its patients very seriously and remains completely dedicated and committed to providing the highest quality of care to individuals with special, and sometimes complex, mental health needs."
But the state report says the center is in "substantial non-compliance with state statutes." So, we called the state to ask what kind of incident would cause the center to lose its license.
A spokesperson told Action News the center is inspected and given the right to fix its mistakes. While that happens, a teen is recovering and one man is waiting to tell his story to a judge. "I'm waiting for my day in court," said Seepersad.
The moratorium will remain in place until its lifted by the state. Seepersad is charged with aggravated child abuse.