Attleboro man charged with assaulting ten year old READS Academy student in Middleboro

Nov 20, 2023

MIDDLEBORO – An employee at READS Academy, a school for children with special needs in Middleboro, has been charged with assaulting a ten year old student who is on the autism spectrum at the school.

Middleboro police responded to a call from the school on Friday, Nov. 17 at 3:43 p.m. and then subsequently arrested and charged 50-year-old Attleboro resident Steven Adamec with assault and battery on a child with injury, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, threat to commit crime/solicitation of a crime and assault and battery on a person with intellectual disability. Adamec was arraigned on Monday, Nov. 20.

Adamec worked as an adjustment counselor at READS Academy. According to a police report, Adamec’s job responsibilities included “dealing with aggressive… and emotional children and de-escalating situations.”

According to the police report, security camera footage showed that Adamec had “sprint[ed] across the room and grab[bed] [the victim] by the arm and pick[ed] [the victim] up by just one arm.” A different staff member attempted “to escort” the victim as well.

However, “Adamec pull[ed] [the student] so aggressively that [the second staff member was] unable to keep up.” 

The police report adds that the video footage showed “Adamec escort[ing] [the student] through a doorway” and that Adamec had “lifted” the victim “off the ground to where [the student’s] feet are not touching the ground.”

The victim's face “hit the door as they pass[ed] through,” according to the police report. This allegedly caused a wound to reopen and bleed due to an already missing tooth.

Then, Adamec took the victim to a “take space” room, which are rooms that “are covered in pads so that when the students are overwhelmed or physically assaultive they can be placed in the room to remove outside distraction and calm down.” According to the police report, there are no security cameras in the “take space” rooms.

A witness account described in the police report stated that while in the “take space” room, Adamec allegedly slapped the victim “in the face” and that Adamec had allegedly said “I’ll kill you.”

According to the police report, Adamec was arrested at the school the day of the alleged assault, and his bail was set at $540. Adamec was then bailed out.

READS Collaborative released a statement on their website on Monday, Nov. 20 regarding the alleged incident.

"I want to assure all of our families that READS staff responded immediately and appropriately to this incident ensuring all parties were notified,” Executive Director Dina Medeiros wrote in the statement.

READS Academy is a 10-month program that follows the 180-day school calendar with an optional five week summer component for students with disabilities. The school is located at 44 Bedford Street in Middleboro and serves students between the ages of five and 22.

"The READS staff member involved in this incident no longer works for READS Collaborative as of November 17, 2023. We are fully cooperating with the police investigation."