COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Police arrested a Cobb County elementary school aide after she allegedly slapped a 5-year-old boy who has autism.

According to the booking report, Karen Bean, a classroom aide at Norton Park Elementary School,was arrested on Monday and charged with battery.

The incident report states that between 12:15 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 25, an autistic student spit in Bean's face. Another teacher's aide then saw Bean allegedly slap the child on the left cheek, leaving a visible red mark, the report states.

The school's principal, Dr. Doug Daugherty, said that he contacted police immediately after learning of the incident, the report states.

According to the incident report, Bean immediately dropped to her knees and began apologizing after the incident.

Bean told police that she had 23 years of experience as a paraprofessional and that she had worked at Norton Park Elementary for several years. According to the incident report, she told police that after the student spit at her, she put her over the student's mouth and that it was possible that her fingers covered the child's cheeks.

Bean denies striking the child. In a statement, she said, "This is a legal matter. The allegations against me are very disturbing. But I trust that in a short time it will be proven that the situation is not as it has been portrayed."

She was released on a $2,970 bond. She said she plans on fighting the charges.

A Cobb County Schools spokesperson would not comment on the case other than to say that Bean was not currently assigned to a classroom or working directly with students.

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