Staff member at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital charged for allegedly kicking patient

NORTH STRABANE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Inside Southwood Psychiatric Hospital in North Strabane, Washington County, is where police say staff member Tamika Jones pushed a young patient to the ground before allegedly kicking the boy in the head.

The alleged incident happened in April, according to the police report, but charges were just filed against Jones this week.

District Attorney Jason Walsh says the physical encounter was all caught on surveillance video.

“There is video evidence that is, in my opinion, horrific, in regard to the way this child was struck by this individual,” Walsh said. “The defendant basically kicks this child in the head. It’s a horrific event.”

After learning of this incident, community members were shocked.

“I don’t even know how you end up getting into that situation to kick a kid in the head,” said Riley Hendrickson. “You should not have any job around children, obviously.”

According to the criminal complaint, the incident was reported to Hospital Director Kacey Kramer, who watched the video and suspended Jones that day.

The police report states that Jones told officers she was stepping in to help a coworker who was assaulted by the young patient.

But that coworker told investigators, “There was no apparent reason for doing such actions to the juvenile.”

Jones is now charged with felony aggravated assault and felony child endangerment, among other charges.

“It’s absolutely horrible. That’s why the charges reflect the severity of the crime,” explained Walsh.

Jones was arraigned Tuesday and released.

She’s due back in court on July 18.

11 News reached out to Southwood about this incident and Jones’ employment status, but so far, we have not heard back.

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