• 3 kids taken away after Palatka mom reports son's hair burned by bully

    By: Jenna Bourne


    EAST PALATKA, Fla. - The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office removed three children from an East Palatka home Friday night, the day after their mother reported a bully at school burned her 5-year-old son’s hair.

    “I know I didn't do it. I said 'take me down there right now. I'll pass a polygraph just like that,'" said mother Angela Flatt.

    Action News Jax met up with Flatt to investigate her bullying claims. During our interview, multiple squad cars pulled up.

    “Do I want to go to jail? Nope. Been there. Done that. Don't want to do it again. Not my cup of tea," she said.

    She said she called investigators Thursday when her 5-year-old son got off his school bus with burnt hair.

    “I said, 'Oh my God! What happened to your hair?'” Flatt said.

    She said her son said a boy at school burned his hair with a lighter.

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    Both the superintendent and the sheriff's office say the evidence doesn't back that up, so deputies removed the children from the home.

    Flatt buckled her children in and told them she'd see them soon before the sheriff’s office drove them away.

    “They said that their supervisor had probable cause. And I can't be around them. I can't live with them – anything,” said Flatt.

    PCSO Capt. Joseph Wells said it's not the first time the Department of Children and Families has investigated the family.

    "It's just unknown where the injury occurred or who is responsible for it. And we certainly cannot rule out that it occurred in this home or that a parent is responsible. So based on that, for their safety, they've been removed for the time being,” said Wells.

    The sheriff's office is still investigating whether charges will be filed.

    While investigators were there, the boy’s stepfather started stumbling and complaining of chest pain. A fire truck and ambulance showed up and took him to the emergency room.

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