A Hillsborough County school security officer is facing a charge for physically abusing a child with autism.
On Wednesday, September 22, 2020, teachers at Knights Elementary School in Plant City contacted the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office after witnessing School Security Officer Michael Lashman, 57, becoming violent with a 9-year-old student with autism. Minutes before the encounter, the child had become verbally disruptive. Though teachers were able to calm the child, Lashman became aware of the incident and confronted the student. Witnesses describe Lashman aggressively restraining the victim and pulling them into the building. At that time, the victim’s body struck a doorway. Multiple teachers witnessed the school security officer push the child against a wall once inside the building.
The victim suffered minor swelling on the back of the head and did not require medical attention. After interviewing school staff and the victim, a warrant was issued for Lashman’s arrest. On Thursday night
, he turned himself in at the Orient Road Jail.
“I am horrified by this man’s cruelty toward a child,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Hired by the school district to protect our most precious citizens, this school security officer abused his authority to cause bodily harm and emotional distress to a student. I applaud the teachers who witnessed this violent encounter and reported it immediately.”
Lashman faces one count of Child Abuse!