MANKATO — A former Mankato group home worker is accused of repeatedly punching and kicking a combative juvenile resident.

Shane Thomas Anderson, 27, was charged with gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child and misdemeanor assault Friday in Blue Earth County District Court.

Anderson allegedly assaulted a 16-year-old boy for whom he was a caretaker on July 3.

When the boy became destructive in a park bathroom, a witness said Anderson threw the boy against a wall with excessive force.

Anderson then restrained the boy on the return ride to his group home on St. Andrews Drive. The boy tried to bite Anderson and he responded by punching the boy in the face, ribs and chest, according to a court complaint.

Another staff member reportedly intervened and also got punched multiple times as Anderson continued the assault, the charges say.

As they arrived back at the group home, a third staff member came out and reported seeing Anderson punch and kick the boy in the head about 15 times.

The boy was taken to an emergency room for an evaluation that noted abrasions on his head and back.

The group home is run by REM Heartland. Anderson is no longer an employee, company officials told The Free Press on Friday.

“We are deeply committed to the well-being of the individuals we serve. Conduct that threatens that well-being is unacceptable,” Devin Nelson, executive director of REM Minnesota, said in a statement.

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