Brevard County

Central Florida teacher accused of hitting child who has autism in the face, police say

COCOA BEACH, Fla. — A Cocoa Beach teacher is facing felony child abuse charges after police said she hit a student in the face.

READ: Woman arrested after crashing Brevard County wedding, getting food and beer, refusing to leave

Officers said Candice Bartell was caught on video hitting a child who has autism.


Bartell, who is a teacher at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary, told investigators it was a “playful tap” to show affection.

READ: Judge: 14-year-old to be charged as adult for fatal shooting on Titusville bike trail

School officials told investigators that teachers know not to touch students’ faces.

READ: ‘Soil Guardian’ program looks to improve water quality of Indian River Lagoon and St. Johns River

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.