Authorities: Atlantic County nurse stabbed autistic boy with needle for disobeying orders

    (Image: Coasterghost - Own work

    (Image: Coasterghost - Own work

    The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office says a nurse caught on videotape stabbing an autistic boy with a hypodermic needle to control his behavior has agreed to surrender her license during the investigation.

    Acting Attorney General Christopher Porrino made the announcement Monday.

    Porrino says in his complaint with the state Board of Nursing that Naomi Derrick stabbed the boy with the needle six times in the knees, leg and arm on May 15.

    She’s also accused of bending the 10-year-old’s finger back, stepping on his bare foot with her shoe and causing him to fall by shoving a chair he was using to stabilize himself.

    He says the actions, which included her brandising the syringe in a menancing manner, were witnessed by employees at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City.

    The complaint accusses Derrick of gross negligence, professional misconduct, and incompetence in her treatment of the child.

    “A developmentally disabled child, confined to a psychiatric ward under the supervision of nurses, is as vulnerable a patient as you can find,” Porrino said. “Instead of caring for this boy and protecting him from harm, as was her duty, Naomi Derrick allegedly used her position of authority to bully and assault him. There is no place in the healthcare profession for this kind of barbaric behavior.”

    Derrick couldn’t be reached for comment.

    The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation. 

    “Naomi Derrick will have no access to patients — child or adult— while these appalling allegations against her are pending,” Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Steve Lee said. 

    Anyone who believes they have been mistreated by a health care professional can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs or call 1-800-242-5846.


    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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