A Florida woman is accused of beating her adopted son with a dog chain, cutting his arms and head, and chipping his teeth with pliers, authorities said.
Patricia Dianne Hyler, 47, of Pace, was arrested Friday and charged with aggravated child abuse, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office. She is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to online jail records.
Hyler is accused of abusing a 14-year-old boy, one of her four adopted children, the Pensacola News Journal reported. In addition to the dog chain, plier and cuts, Hyler is accused of making the teen sleep on a dirty concrete floor and made him bathe in the front yard, stripping while the woman sprayed the boy with a hose, the television station reported.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said the alleged abuse angered him.
“Somebody that can do that to another human is bad enough," Johnson said during a news conference Monday. "But you start doing that to a child, yeah, we take it personally. We really do.”
Johnson said Hyler abused all four of her adopted children were subjected to abuse, but she “took an interest” in the 14-year-old, the News Journal reported. The Florida Department of Children and Families referred to the teen as the “target child," the newspaper reported.
"She abused this child pretty severely, but she took him out of school and homeschooled him for two years because she knew that if she sent him to school, obviously, somebody would report it,” Johnson told reporters. “So she kept him at home.”
Authorities learned about the abuse allegations when one of Hyler’s other adopted children texted someone about the abuse. Johnson told reporters Hyler’s spouse worked long hours and apparently was not in the home when the alleged abuse occurred, the News Journal reported.
“I don’t know how you fix something like that (abuse),” Johnson told reporters. “When you do something to a child, that is so horrendous.”
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