On Friday, deputies were dispatched to Devereux, located at 8000 Devereux Drive in Melbourne, in reference to a possible battery. The call was placed by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF), according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Devereux is a healthcare facility where persons with emotional, behavioral, and cognitive differences. The clients treated at the facility are in the juvenile age range.
Deputies observed video surveillance of clients of the facility outside playing “basketball,” “keep away,” and “dodgeball.” One client attempted to get the ball from one of the staff members, later identified as 39-year-old Tareah Moore of Sebastian.
According to the affidavit, Moore was on the basketball court with some children shooting the ball into the hoop.
The video shows Moore with the ball as various children are trying to get the ball from her. As one child tried to get the ball, his hand also hit the bottom of Moore’s left side of her cheek. Next, Ms. Moore drops the ball, and intention strikes the child in the neck.
The child told deputies that Moore struck him and then called him a “bit**.” The child has faint red marks on the left side of his neck and jawline.
Moore confirmed she was playing basketball with the children, and while doing so, the child struck her face while attempting to take the ball from her. Moore told deputies she got the ball back, and upon doing so, she thinks her hand may have hit the child’s neck because he “became upset and said she struck him,” the affidavit said.
According to deputies, a witness stated that she observed Moore angry after being struck in the face and intentionally hitting the child in the neck. The witness said she saw a red handprint on the child’s neck.
Moore was arrested and charged with Battery and Child Abuse. She was transported to the Brevard County Jail, where a bond was set at $2,000.