Russell G. Cummings, an employee for Wackenhut/G4S in Tampa, was charged with felony child abuse.
Pasco Sheriff Bob White said Friday morning he is ending a contract that began in December with Wackenhut for support services at the juvenile facility.
“In this case, there’s no second chances,” he said. “These are our children.”
Wackenhut officials couldn’t be reached for comment late Friday afternoon.
Cameras recorded the incident, White said, and footage shows Cummings hitting the boy across the left side of his head with an open hand.
As the boy was being searched, one of two being arrested on the same charge, he began to laugh. Cummings, according to his arrest affidavit, thought the boy was being disrespectful and hit him.
A deputy witnessed the incident.
“This was done in an aggressive manner and was an unnecessary use of force,” a deputy wrote in the affidavit.
The sheriff said he contracted with the security company to help move deputies into more critical areas rather than “babysit” juveniles. For now, he said, detention deputies will take on duties at the assessment center.
“This is inexcusable and this will not become the norm in the Pasco jail,” White said about the charge against Cummings.
White said a second contract with Wackenhut to guard inmates who require medical treatment at hospitals will remain for now. He said Wackenhut is a “top flight” company and the issue involving the 13-year-old is an isolated incident.
White said this gives him further fuel to stress the importance of a proper budget for his agency and called on the county commission “to step up to the plate … to do the right for the citizens who elected them.”
“This doubles my resolve to make sure my office is funded appropriately and I’m not taking ‘no’ for an answer,” he said.
Having four contract guards rather than four deputies at the assessment center saved the agency $98,000 a year, said sheriff’s office spokesman Doug Tobin.
Cummings, of Tampa, is being held at the Land O ‘Lakes Jail with bail set at $5,000.
The boy’s name wasn’t released because of his age.