Nurse accused of stabbing autistic boy with a needle to get him to obey


close up of the sharp hypodermic needle

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TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey officials say a nurse caught on videotape stabbing an autistic boy with a hypodermic needle to control his behavior has agreed to surrender her license during the investigation.

“A developmentally disabled child, confined to a psychiatric ward under the supervision of nurses, is as vulnerable a patient as you can find,” Acting Attorney General Christopher Porrino said in a statement Monday. “There is no place in the healthcare profession for this kind of barbaric behavior.”

In documents submitted to the state Board of Nursing, Porrino accuses Naomi Derrick of stabbing the boy with the needle six times in the knees, leg and arm while he was at the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City on May 15.

The documents also say Derrick was caught on video brandishing the syringe menacingly and threatening the boy she would “give him the needle” if he did not behave. She’s also accused of bending the 10-year-old’s finger back, stepping on his bare foot and causing him to fall by moving a chair he was using to stabilize himself.

Derrick couldn’t be reached for comment. The Associated Press called a phone number that apparently belongs to her and its voicemail box was full.


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