The Davie school employee accused of abusing an autistic boy after he misbehaved during a field trip was released on bond Thursday.
David Baier cried as he was released from jail but did not speak.
Baier, an employee at the Alternative Education Foundation's school, had already posted $2,000 bond by the time he appeared before Circuit Judge John Hurley said during a Thursday bond court appearance.
Hurley ordered Baier not to return to the school or have any contact with the boy after his release.
According to Davie Police, Baier, 49, was captured on video being “physical” with the boy after the 12-year-old was placed in his care after the July 27 trip.
The child was “argumentative” and “disrespectful” on the field trip. He refused to tie his shoelace and then pushed his shoe in the face of Baier and another staff member and stomped on Baier’s foot, according to an arrest affidavit.
When they returned to the classroom, the child fidgeted, talked back and bent forward in his seat and as a result, Baier advised the boy to stand for five minutes without “annoying him,” Davie Police said.
But when the child crouched on the floor and refused to get up, Baier grabbed him by his hair, threw him to the floor and pinned him to the floor, police said.
Davie Police said that although the child was verbal, he was not physical or violent. They also said that they determined that Baier’s actions were meant to cause injury.
Baier was charged with two counts of cruelty toward a child.
Attorney Steven Swickle, who represents Baier, said his client’s actions were not those of a rogue teacher who decided to take matters into his own hands.
"We believe that after an independent investigation, and upon all the evidence coming to light, that Mr. Baier ultimately will be vindicated of these charges," Swickle said.
Baier has taught special needs children for up to 25 years and worked with AEF since 2003, when the school was founded.