Police release video of December 2012 visit to Omaree home

Posted at: 02/13/2014 6:12 PM
Updated at: 02/13/2014 10:38 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Police have released lapel camera video from a December 2012 call to the home of Omaree Varela after employees at Cricket store reported seeing his mother, Synthia Varela-Casaus, slap and swear at him. She denied the allegations, and CYFD and APD’s Crimes Against Children Unit were notified.

The way officers handled the call was completely different from how two other officers handled a call in June 2013. The officers who took the June call are now suspended while the department investigates their handling of the situation.

“I'd like to talk to him real briefly for a second,” Detective Jeff Jones told Synthia Varela Casaus when he got to the house.

The first thing he did was separate Omaree from his family and question him outside, alone.

“What did she do? Hmm? Did she... did she put her hand on you? Did she (inaudible) you? 'Cause the people at the store said that she did,” Jones asked the child.

The officers who responded to Omaree’s home in June 2013 checked on him with his mother and stepfather right in front of him. The video never shows officers taking him aside.

In December 2012, each officer took a turn checking Omaree for injuries.

“Do you have any marks on it? Can I, can I look at your arms and make sure you're, you're okay?” Jones asked the boy. AFD paramedics even visited the home to check for evidence of past bruises on the child. In December, officers ended the visit by notifying the family they would be checking in with CYFD.

“I'll just let CYFD know... Yeah, I , it doesn't appear you committed any violations awhile ago, but we just wanna make sure,” Detective Jones told Varela-Casaus.

But in June of last year, no updates were given to CYFD on the family.