A teacher’s aide has claimed in federal court that Nassau County officials wrongly arrested her on charges of mistreating a 9-year-old special needs child.
Alexandra Chmil, 27, of Garden City said in papers filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn that she was needlessly strip-searched by police, and that investigators ignored medical and video evidence showing she did nothing wrong.
Chmil was arrested Jan 8. and accused of endangering the welfare of a disabled person, a felony, by causing redness and swelling on a child’s face when she violently jerked the child’s head and wiped her face “abruptly with paper towels.”
Police said at the time of the arrest that the mother of the student at The Hagedorn Little Village School in Seaford saw her daughter’s face turn black and blue in May 2016.
The lawsuit said the charges were dismissed.
A Nassau court clerk confirmed Tuesday that there is no public record of Chmil’s case.
Under state law, criminal case records are automatically sealed when someone gets a favorable disposition, or a result in their favor.
“A video of the incident shows plaintiff (Chmil) feeding the student, as was her job, and wiping the student’s face with a napkin, not aggressively, nor excessively,” the court papers said.
“Medical records confirmed that the student did not have any bruising or abrasions,” the court papers said.
“This conscience-shocking failure to investigate obvious and known exculpatory evidence deprived Ms. Chmil of her liberty in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments,” the lawsuit said.
The county, the district attorney’s office and the police department, all named as defendants, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and attorneys’ fees.
With Bridget Murphy