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Police: Health center staffers encouraged children to fight

December 21, 2018

EXTON, Pa. (AP) — Police say two staffers at a Pennsylvania facility for patients with disabilities encouraged children to fight.

Twenty-four-year-old Rayne Portela, of Glenside, and 25-year-old Anthony Merrick, of Coatesville, appeared in District Court in Exton on charges of failure to report or refer, endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and harassment.

Police say the incident happened at the Devereux Kanner Center in West Whiteland Township in July. Authorities say surveillance video shows Portela and Merrick place two 13-year-old boys in a makeshift ring and encourage them to fight. Police say one of the alleged victims has developmental disabilities.

Authorities say a staffer recorded the fight and shared it. Police say they learned of the incident after a parent called.

A spokesperson for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health said the facility is participating with police.

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