Parents in Marion County are not likely to forget the pain inflicted on children at the hands of pediatric dentists Michael and Rebecca Tarver.
Ocala Post recently received several e-mails from parents who are concerned that the former owner of Polliwog, Michael Tarver, might still be operating in Florida.
Following an investigation, Ocala Post discovered that parents’ concerns are warranted.
Michael and Rebecca Tarver are currently operating Clermont Children’s Dentistry, located at 1020 W Hwy 50, Clermont, FL.
State records show that the Tarver’s were operating under Gulfstream Dental, but have since changed the business name to Clermont Children’s Dentistry. No affiliation to Clermont Pediatric Dentistry.
Tarver has not only lashed out at Medicaid patients in the past, but he has also been accused of over-sedating children with what Tarver called the “kiddie cocktail”…nearly killing one child.
Tarver was investigated by the DEA back in July on suspicion of overmedicating children. Tarver was accused of using Demerol and Versed to sedate and “control” children whom Mr. Tarver felt were misbehaved, according to his own words.
Additionally, Tarver was investigated for Medicaid fraud.
On September 4, 2013, Tarver’s license was entered into an emergency suspension.
According to police reports, one child, four years of age, was given a dose of Versed and the child stopped breathing. Tarver performed CPR to revive the child but failed to notify the parents. Tarver’s notes, which were seized by the DEA described the incident as a “brief apnea episode.”
Tarver was also accused of abusing children by placing his hands over several children’s nose and mouth. One boy had bruises on his cheeks from where Tarver had grabbed the child by his face.
During the second week of October 2014, Ocala Police Department was contacted by a mother concerned about the treatment of her daughter by Tarver.
According to reports, Samantha Catozzi, stated her 6-year-old daughter told her “Dr. Mike” scared her. The girl told her mother that Tarver said if she wouldn’t be quiet, he would give her shots.
The 6-year-old then stated she began crying for her mother, causing Tarver to cover her mouth with his hand.
Catozzi also told police that she specifically told the dental office she did not want her daughter having any shots. Catozzi told police that even though she signed papers, they were not explained to her.
According to reports, after Catozzi filed the complaint, Tarver called her, wanting to know why she did it. He said he didn’t understand her reasoning.
Catozzi told police that Tarver’s tone made her fear for her family’s safety.
Ocala Post has been told many times that Tarver has threatened patients as well as employees. Many of the threats were sent via Facebook.
Even though there have been dozens of complaints against Tarver and multiple police reports filed, he was never criminally charged and his license was eventually reinstated.
Tarver has also changed his business name several times over the years.
On Tarver’s new website for Clermont Children’s Dentistry, it reads, “We offer safe and effective conscious sedation and have the skills to successfully treat hard cases.”