Lawrence homeless shelter worker charged with hitting, dragging child

A worker at a shelter for homeless families in Lawrence is facing some troubling charges. 

According to police, the suspect hit a 4-year-old boy who was staying there with his mother and brother. 

Adrian Valentin’s mother took a picture of a large welt left behind on his back. 

Angela Rodriquez is speaking out after 40-year-old Raphael Abreu-Prado of Lawrence was charged with injuring the boy, who is autistic and has a severe speech impediment. 

"When I saw the welts on his back, I just lost it," said Rodriguez. 

According to police, the incident happened inside Case New Wave Avida, a shelter for homeless families on Jackson Street. 

Witnesses said Abreu Prado, who works at the shelter, struck the child on his back and then dragged him down the hall. 

The incident was captured on surveillance cameras inside the shelter. 

According to a police report, Abreu-Prado confessed to the crime telling police, "No, no I hit him, I swear I didn’t mean to hit him so hard." 

.Abreu-Prado is no longer working at the shelter, according to the shelter director. 

The investigation is ongoing.

Abreu-Prado has been released on $1,500 cash bail and is scheduled to return to court in March. 

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