12 OYS: River Glen Apartments admits fault in toddler chemical poisoning

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / July 23, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- While the physical scar is healing, 3 year-old Exzavius Hatcher's mom and grandmom said he is still mentally scarred after drinking paint thinner. The chemical was inside a water bottle left on the family's floor by a maintenance worker at the River Glen Apartments

"That's my son. My first baby. He means everything to me," said Laquana Hatcher. Exzavius had to go to the emergency room and was treated for burns on his lip and mouth.

Management is responding after our investigation on Monday. Property Manager Carolyn Davis said "I do not tolerate this on my property, and I will not accept any child/tenant to be put in this type of preventive situation again. The maintenance supervisor as well as the maintenance technicians have been reprimanded due to their negligence."

The email goes on to say, "The incident that happened with Ms. Hatcher and her son is very unfortunate and we do apologize for any wrong doing our maintenance staff may have done."

The Hatcher's said any apology should be directed to the family and not to 12 On Your Side. "We have not heard from Ms. Carol Davis. We were in the same area at the same time last Friday, and we got a dry hi. Not, oh hi Laquana. How's your baby," said April Hatcher.

We asked Davis what sort of policy is in place to prevent incidents like this from happening again, and whether the staff is familiar with material safety data sheets that provide specific instructions on how chemicals like paint thinner should be stored. She would only say, "all staff members at River Glen Apartments has had numerous hours of training on how to handle chemicals."

Hatcher said it leaves her wondering how anything like this could have happened in the first place. As for Exzavius, life is returning to normal. "My mouth feel better," said Exzavius. The property manager said she feels the family did not allow her enough time to get the situation under control before going public.

In the email from management it said staff would be more than happy to sit down with Laquana Hatcher, and look at any of the medical expenses related to the accident

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 newsroom@wrdw.com Fax: (803) 442-4561
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