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Emerson doctor admits jabbing child 100 times with screwdriver

Photo Credit: EMERSON PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An Emerson doctor told police she jabbed a child 100 times with a flathead screwdriver, causing dark bruises and bleeding cuts, for not properly washing her dog’s clothes and towels and for bringing her masking tape when she asked for Scotch tape, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

Sylvia S. Lee (Mugshot courtesy EMERSON PD)

The 13-year-old victim was attacked at Sylvia S. Lee Sunset Place home during this year’s July 4th weekend because she refused to wash “doggie clothes” and a “doggie towel” in the correct order, according to a complaint by a deputy state inspector from Attorney General Paula Dow’s office.

In turn, Lee, 58, said she “got angry” and was “trying to scare” the girl to teach her a lesson.

“I was wrong and that’s why I stabbed her so many times,” the allergist reportedly told police, who were summoned by the youngster’s 16-year-old friend.

This wasn’t the first time she’d lost her temper, the report says: Lee admitted hitting the child before, including using the screwdriver just days earlier, when she asked the girl for Scotch tape and was brought masking tape instead.

Photographs showed 100 or so “bruises and small bleeding punctures or other wounds” on the child’s back and other parts of the child’s body, authorities said.

The evidence demonstrates “a clear and imminent danger to the public health, safety and welfare,” said the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners, which has temporarily suspended Lee from practicing medicine. She most recently worked at The Center for Asthma and Allergy in Old Bridge, according to the state Division of Consumer Affairs.

Although Lee told police she also jabbed herself “as hard as I jabbed (the child)” the day before the attack “to see how painful it was,” a DCA spokesman said.

“The Board of Medical Examiners takes very seriously its mandate to protect the public’s health and safety by determining the qualifications for physicians and disciplining those who do not live up to the required standards,” DCA Director Thomas R. Calcagni. “When a physician so dangerously demonstrates a lack of judgment and impulse control, it becomes necessary to prevent that person from practicing.”

Emerson Police Sgt. Stephan Clark and Officer Anthony Nlazzo went to the friend’s home, where they said they found the injured and upset victim.

They arrested Lee and brought her to headquarters, where a video camera captured their interview with her.

During the interview, an official report shows, Lee said she had two dogs and that the youngster was supposed to wash the dogs’ clothing and towels in a certain order but didn’t.

“[U]sually we wash the dirty doggy clothes first, dirty doggy towels next,” Lee told the officers, adding that the girl should have known not to wash the towel because the dogs hadn’t yet gotten a bath.

Lee admitted getting angry “right away” and losing her temper.

Lee remains free on bail, charged with aggravated assault and child endangerment. The full medical examiners board is expected to review the temporary suspension order and determine whether to make it permanent at its Sept. 14 meeting, said DCA spokesman Neal Buccino.




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