MIDDLEBORO, MASS. (WHDH) - Police in Middleborough say a school counselor is facing multiple assault and battery charges after he allegedly dragged and struck a 10-year-old student living with autism.

The Middleborough Police Department announced the arrest of 50-year-old Steven Adamec, who was taken into custody on Friday, Nov. 17, after officers were called to READS Collaborative on Bedford Street for a report of an employee assaulting a child.

According to the police department, responding officers arrived and determined that Adamec, an adjustment counselor at the facility, allegedly struck a 10-year-old student “across the side of their face following an argument.”

“Police subsequently determined that Adamec dragged the student by the arm and pushed him into a door while escorting him out of a classroom,” a news release stated. “Adamec then used his left hand to strike the student across the side of their face.”

The police department said Adamec was arrested at the school and charged with the following:

  • Assault and Battery on a Child with Injury
  • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon
  • Threat to Commit Crime/Solicitation of a Crime
  • Assault and Battery on Person with Intellectual Disability

According to the school, which provides therapeutic services for students with a wide range of challenges, the counselor was no longer employed with the program.

In a letter to parents, the school’s executive director wrote in-part:

“I want to assure all our families that READS staff responded immediately and appropriately to this incident. The READS staff member involved in this incident no longer works for READS Collaborative.”

The 50-year-old Attleboro resident was arraigned in Wareham District Court on Monday, where he pleaded not guilty and was released on $500 bail while being ordered by a judge not to have any contact with the victim or the victim’s family.

He was also ordered not to have any contact with the school until the case is resolved.

Speaking with 7NEWS, the victim’s mother, Michelle Melander, said she was devastated and disgusted by the incident, and described how she felt seeing Adamec in court.

“At first, I was OK, but once they read the report and the allegations and the charges, I cried – it was just breaking my heart,” the mother of five said. “Us parents, we think that they’re safe – that’s where they’re supposed to be safe and taken care of and this incident on Friday was not OK.”

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