A MOTHER has been arrested for allegedly hurting her adopted teen son for years in what authorities call "one of the worst cases of child abuse."
Patricia Hyler is accused of brutally abusing her 14-year-old adopted son for years by beating him with a dog chain, cutting his arms and head, and even chipping his teeth with pliers.
The 47-year-old mom allegedly forced him to sleep on a dirty concrete floor and bathed her son by making him strip down in the front yard of her home in Florida before spraying him with a hose.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said at a press conference Monday that Hyler's actions mark "one of the worst cases of child abuse" he's encountered in his nearly 40-year career in law enforcement.
"I'll be honest with you, as a father it pisses me off, is what it does," Johnson said, as reported by the Pensacola News Journal.
"Somebody that can do that to another human is bad enough. But you start doing that to a child, yeah we take it personally. We really do."
Hyler had four adopted children – evidence shows she abused all of them, according to Johnson.
But she "took a special interest" in the teen boy, who the Florida Department of Children and Families called the "target child."
The 14-year-old lived with Hyler and her husband for the past seven and a half years.
The teen was home schooled for two years because "she knew that if she sent him to school, obviously, somebody would report it," Johnson said.
Allegations of abuse came to light after one of Hyler's adopted children texted a witness about the abuse, which the person then reported to police.
Sheriff's deputies also interviewed two more people Hyler had previously adopted who had since left the home.
The individuals described the abuse they witnessed inside the home in Pace.
"I don't know how you fix something like that," Johnson said.
"When you do something to a child, that is so horrendous.
Hyler was arrested on May 8 and charged with aggravated child abuse.
She was booked at the Santa Rosa County Jail, where she is being held without bond.
Johnson said she'll likely face additional criminal charges once the sheriff's office investigation is over.
Hyler's husband isn't expected to be charged because he evidently wasn't in the home when the alleged abuse took place, he added.
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