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Tampa groundskeeper accused of abusing child at summer camp

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Published:   |   Updated: March 14, 2013 at 12:28 AM
TAMPA -

A man who works as a custodian for the Hillsborough County school district and as a groundskeeper for the Tampa parks department has been charged with child abuse.

Daniel Boderick was charged last month with a felony in connection with an incident that police say occurred in July at DeSoto Park, 2615 Corrine St.

Boderick, who has worked for the city for a decade performing grounds maintenance and upkeep, was filling in helping with children on July 12 at a summer camp. He told police he often helps with the camp despite not having taken any child care classes.

He was playing ball inside a portable trailer at the park with a 10-year-old girl when she refused to get the ball she had thrown across the room, according to a police report.

The girl, a student at Palm River Elementary, told police Boderick grabbed her upper right arm using his fingers to pinch her skin and dragged her 15 feet across the floor to the ball.

Boderick, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 250 pounds, told authorities he scooped her up with one arm and carried her to the ball.

"Suspect Boderick stated that he in no way intended to harm the girl," the police report said. "He just wanted to teach the victim to be respectful."

The parks employee also told police the girl laughed and continued to play after the incident.

The girl's parents brought the matter to the attention of police a few days later. Detectives noted a bruise on her upper right arm.

Boderick was not charged until Oct. 3, when the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office finished its investigation.

Superintendent MaryEllen Elia has recommended Boderick be suspended without pay pending a school district investigation. Board members will be asked to vote on the recommendation Tuesday.

Boderick, 49, is on personal leave from his city job.


rshaw@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7999
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