Monday, September 10, 2012

Dr. Thomas Floyd, arrest for beating up a 4 year old in his dental office.

A mom contacted me last fall about this guy. At least I think this was the dentist.  She was working hard to get him arrested.



STATE, POLICE: West Palm Beach pediatric dentist Thomas Floyd beat up 4-year-old patient, abused others

By Scott T. Smith /
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A West Palm Beach pediatric dentist has been arrested on a child abuse charge, accused of beating up a 4-year-old boy during a dental procedure in 2010.

Thomas P. Floyd, 61, of 258 Golden River Drive in Tequesta, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail Friday afternoon, and state officials issued an emergency order to suspend his license to practice dentistry, with multiple allegations of further abusive incidents involving other children (details below).
The state also alleges he used unhygienic practices, including failing to change gloves or instruments between patients.

About 25 complaints have been filed against Floyd with West Palm Beach Police since 2006, the state noted.

According to a probable cause affidavit for Floyd's arrest, West Palm Beach Police responded to a 9-1-1 call on May 5, 2010, from Floyd's office at 400 Executive Center. Witnesses reported hearing a child screaming and crying in one of the exam rooms and the boy later told police that "the doctor went pow pow on my face" ... "and it hurt."

At the time, no employees said they witnessed the incident, but several advised "this was an ongoing problem with Floyd being physically abusive to patients."

The responding officer noted the child had an injured lip, but Floyd said the child bit it during a procedure to cap several teeth.

The child's mother took photos of the injuries and took him to the pediatric unit at St. Mary's Medical Center, where records noted the boy had a tear under his tongue, multiple cuts on his lips and a laceration on his gums. His lips were swollen and had dried blood on them.

An investigator met with the mother and child on April 5, and a Child Protection Team interviewed him a week later and his stories were consistent that the dentist had hit him in the face several times.


On April 11, police interviewed a man who worked for Floyd as a dental assistant from 2008 to 2010. The assistant said he was present in the exam room on May 5, 2010, during what he described as the "worst" incident he witnessed in Floyd's office.

The assistant said the child was restrained on a "papoose board" for a procedure to crown several teeth. The boy refused to open his mouth, so Floyd used a "dental scissors" device to pry the mouth open, placing rubber guards on the metal tool. The boy spit out the tool and bit Floyd, the assistant told police, and Floyd began yelling at the boy and put the scissors back in his mouth, but the boy spit them out again. At this point, the assistant said Floyd "jammed the kid all inside his mouth" with a dental drill, but the boy refused to open his mouth.

The rubber guards had fallen off the dental scissors and the assistant said Floyd then placed the unprotected metal tool on the boy's mouth and slapped the back of the tool a couple of times with the palm of his hand trying to get it into the boy's mouth. The assistant said blood from the boy's mouth squirted onto both he and Floyd while this was happening. As Floyd began to hit the boy a fourth time, the assistant left the exam room and asked a teen patient to "call the police because the doctor's in here abusing this kid."


The state Department of Health issued an emergency order suspending Floyd's license Thursday. In addition to the incident with the 4-year-old boy, state officials cited others, detailed below, including one in which Floyd pulled four teeth from the wrong patient.
In a case from Feb. 28, the mother of a 7-year-old girl filed a report with West Palm Beach saying Floyd had abused her daughter. The girl told police that "Dr. Floyd ... tried to kill her" while extracting several teeth. She reported telling Floyd that he was hurting her and he responded "Shut up, you damn brat" and took off her protective bib and stuffed it in her mouth. Though her arms were restrained, she freed one hand and removed the bib because she was having trouble breathing, after which Floyd grabbed her by the hair, pulled her head back and pushed on her forehead to hold her back in the chair while continuing to extract teeth. The girl's mother said Floyd refused to discuss the incident with her.
The state's report cited a West Palm Beach Police report of the incident, saying staff said it was common for Floyd to stuff bibs in children's mouths to keep them quiet.

In a case from August 2011, two girls aged about 5-6 were in for treatment -- one was scheduled for a cleaning while the other needed multiple procedures. The state found Floyd failed to check the patients' charts and performed four extractions and some fillings on the girl scheduled for just a cleaning. "The girl's father was outraged by the error," according to the state report.
In a case from March 9, a 16-year-old boy came to Floyd for fillings, and opted to forgo anesthesia with the agreement that if he said it hurt, Floyd would stop drilling. The boy raised his hand and Floyd stopped. The next time the teen raised his hand, Floyd did not stop, grabbed the boy's hair and shook his head. The boy jumped out of the chair and fled the office with his mother.

On Oct. 6, 2011, a teen girl was in the office to have wisdom teeth extracted. He attempted to pull the first one without first taking an X-ray and had to give up when he was unable to pull it. The girl was "crying and distraught" at the point he decided an X-ray was needed.

On Nov. 4, 2011, a boy about 4 years old came to Floyd's office for fillings and crowns. On Nov. 21, the boy began complaining of pain and was unable to open his jaw. The boy's mother called Floyd, who refused to see her on an emergency basis. The boy had to be hospitalized "for a massive infection requiring intravenous antibiotic therapy," according to the state report.

The report cited multiple claims that Floyd "controls crying and agitation by stuffing the dental bib into the child's mouth. Sometimes, he yells into their ears to drown out their screams and shut them up." Also, to protect himself from bites, he pulls the child's lip between his finger and the child's teeth, sometimes causing the child's lip to bleed.

The state reports that Floyd told his employees that he's been using these techniques "successfully for 30 years."

Among the allegations of sanitary procedures, the state alleges that Floyd allowed employees to change germ protective barriers on equipment only once per day, in the morning. The state reports that he sometimes "does not change gloves between patients and uses the same burrs, mirrors, explorers and other instruments on more than one patient without sterilization."

Lots of comments over on WPEC-TV