(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Travis Johnson
A staffer at a Valley-area rehab center was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of bending the finger of a special needs teenager aboard a bus to get him to comply with his commands, police said.
One of the syndromes the 16-year-old victim suffers from causes him to have a very high tolerance for pain, officers said.
Travis Johnson, 23, was taken into custody after the child's mother noticed her son's hand was swollen. The teen said he was in pain and when he was taken to the hospital, it was determined his hand was sprained.
Johnson was fired by the unidentified rehabilitation facility for using a non-approved control technique.
The incident occurred on July 9 on the bus after the victim's summer program at the rehab center was released for the day.
The incident was audio and video recorded on the school bus surveillance camera. According to court documents, Johnson can be seen in the video squeezing the hand of the victim and using his own finger to bend the pinky finger of the teen backwards. The 16-year-old is heard screaming in pain.
During police questioning, Johnson denied injuring the teen.
Johnson was booked into jail on one count of child abuse.
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