Daneta McPherson, a St. Lucie County, Florida school bus aide, was arrested this past week after she was accused of emotionally abusing a 5-year-old with special needs, news sources report. The abuse occurred on a school bus. McPherson, 37, was booked into the St. Lucie County Jail on unspecified charges following the incident. It is not yet known whether she qualified for bail bond. Reports did not mention whether McPherson has obtained an attorney.
McPherson works as a school bus aide for the St. Lucie County School District, sources say. Following the reports of the alleged abuse, the district placed McPherson in a position that does not involve children. A spokesperson for the school district said McPherson has not had any official contact with the victim since the alleged incident. The spokesperson also said that while McPherson is still working for the school district, she may lose that position pending the outcome of the case.
The alleged incident occurred sometime in December 2012. Reports say the child suffers from a learning disorder and McPherson accompanies him on bus rides to ensure he gets to and from school safely. Surveillance footage taken from multiple bus rides, both to and from school, allegedly shows McPherson “bullying” the victim. At least one surveillance video, now available to the public, shows McPherson getting up close to the victim’s face and screaming.
On December 7, members of the St. Lucie County School Security sector and an investigator with the Department of Children and Families took the surveillance video and turned it over to the St. Lucie County Police. The police department has since viewed the footage and placed McPherson under arrest. An investigation is ongoing and it is unclear whether there may be additional victims. It does not appear as though McPherson ever physically abused the victim.
In other news, Miller Uwanawich of Delray Beach was arrested Monday for allegedly grabbing a 70-year-old woman’s head and shaking it, then spitting on her, reports say. Uwanawich, 81, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of battery against an elderly person. He was later released on his own recognizance. It is unclear whether he hired legal representation.
Reports say the incident occurred Monday at Uwanawich’s home in Delray Beach. The victim was apparently at the home, though it is not clear how the pair knows each other. Uwanawich got into an argument with the victim over Chinese food. At some point, the verbal argument escalated and Uwanawich grabbed the victim by her head, shook her, and spit on her, reports say. The victim called for her granddaughter to come pick her up, but Uwanawich allegedly attacked again as she was leaving. He reportedly kicked the victim’s buttocks, grabbed her neck, and shouted at her to leave, sources say.
When police spoke with Uwanawich, he at first denied physically assaulting the victim. However, during further questioning, Uwanawich reportedly admitted that he did grab the woman around both the front and back of her neck during the dispute. It is not clear whether the woman sustained any injuries in the altercation.