Teacher's aide at Manvel school accused of hitting special needs teen

MANVEL, TX (KTRK) -- A teacher's aide has been arrested, accused of injuring a non-verbal autistic student at the Shiloh Treatment Center in Manvel.

Cell phone video believed to have been taken inside the classroom shows the aide appearring to slap a 13-year-old named Nicco.

Byron Ramon Criddle, 46, has been charged with injury to a child.

"You have to pick on a little child who is defenseless and can't speak and defend themselves, who can't speak and tell someone," said Nicco's mother, Habebah Gaber. "You're pretty low."

Gaber turned to Eyewitness News after she says another special needs student gave her the cell phone video.

"She told me that it happens all the time. He is constantly hitting my son," Gaber said. "That she witnessed him with keys between his knuckles, punching my son in the head, punching him in the stomach, kicking him, pinching him."

Criddle has been fired from the Shiloh Treatment Center, where he has been working with special needs children for 13 years. Investigators believe there could be more victims, unable to speak out.

"My son is just love. It doesn't matter who hurt him, my son is still going to love them," Gaver said. "That's all he can express is love."

Criddle is being held on $35,000 bond.

An attorney for Shiloh Treatment Center released the following statement Friday night:

    "I do not have enough information to address any specific alleged infraction. Like any school district, Shiloh Nonpublic has a very strong compliance department. Shiloh Nonpublic management are keenly interested in staff treating youth properly and it expeditiously implements precautionary security measures that include removing staff when necessary. All reports of incidents and allegations are made to the proper state and federal agency. The website listings cover a two year period and shows Shiloh compliant with 7,526 standards through the course of 64 inspection visits. There are 21 deficiencies cited (including the 3 in review). Most of the deficiencies are administrative. They are incidents and not systematic, and are all dealt with expeditiously as the dates of completion show. Shiloh's agency partners, stakeholders and accrediting bodies have expressed no concerns about Shiloh's programming or track record. Shiloh is audited and reviewed regularly by federal, state and accrediting personnel and none have noted a problem with Shiloh's systems. Each and every incident involving a Shiloh staff person is dealt with quickly and according to standards."
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