Video shows counselor attack Marion County teen
Curtis Thornton arrested after punching boy at juvenile detention center
OCALA, Fla. – A video taken at a Marion County juvenile detention center landed one of its counselors in jail.
Curtis Thornton, 26, was arrested Thursday afternoon on cruelty to a child and aggravated child abuse charges.
Investigators with the Marion County Sheriff's Office said surveillance video taken at the Marion Youth Academy shows Thornton and a teenager sitting in the corner of a classroom.
The video shows Thornton stand up and walk away a few feet, where the teen threw a wad of paper at him, deputies said.
Thornton returned to the table for a moment before punching the teenager so hard he fell out of his chair. The video shows Thornton straddle the boy, punching him several more times before other teenagers at the academy separate them.
Deputies said a close look at the video shows Thornton grabbed a handheld radio when he walked away, and he actually used that radio to punch the teen.
The teenager suffered a large head gash and was rushed to Munroe Regional Medical Center, where doctors had to staple his head shut.
Thornton told investigators he was trying to "redirect" the boy when he brought him to the ground, because he was tired of him throwing paper wads at him.
Marion County sheriff's deputies arrested him and they booked him in the Marion County Jail, where he posted his $10,000 bond late Thursday night.
Local 6 knocked on Thornton's front door Friday evening to ask him what happened, and even though there was a fire burning in the fireplace, no one came to the door.
Thornton was arrested and charged with domestic violence in 2013, a charge that was later dropped.
The juvenile detention center where this happened is not run by Marion County. Instead, it is managed by a third party,Youth Services International, which is based in Sarasota.
No one with the organization returned Local 6's calls on Friday.
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