St. Louis police are investigating after a 3-year-old was injured after a day care teacher flung her across the room last month.
Local law enforcement and an attorney for the toddler’s family confirmed the probe to ABC News Wednesday, Feb. 27. A worker at Brighter Daycare and Preschool, which is in Pine Lawn, Missouri, was caught on surveillance video Feb. 1 grabbing the young girl by the arm and throwing her against the cabinet. The throw led to a gash on the girl’s head that required her to be rushed to the hospital via ambulance and receive stitches. She remained hospitalized for three days when the wound got infected.
Reportedly, the teacher, who has not been identified, sent a note home to the girl’s parents saying the wound resulted from a fall.
“The parents requested to look at the surveillance video because they had trouble understanding how their daughter could have sustained such a severe injury as a result of a fall,” the family attorney, Jennifer Hansen, told ABC News. “They only learned that what had been called a ‘fall’ was actually an assault.
She added the parents have “come forward is because they are concerned that what happened to their daughter could very well happen to any other child.”
The day care worker responsible was subsequently fired after the manager finally reviewed the video with the girl’s parents, who wish to remain anonymous, five days after the incident occurred. During that process, the North County Police Cooperative discovered a separate incident where another child at the day care center was injured by a worker who grabbed the kid’s arm so tightly that the employee’s nails punctured the skin and bruised it.
Sgt. Kevin Smith of the Police Cooperative said investigations into both incidents are ongoing and police are will send evidence the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney, who will determine if they will file criminal charges against both employees. Both workers have since been terminated, according to Smith and Hansen.
As for whether or not the young girl’s parents will file a lawsuit, their attorney says they are still deciding. In the meantime, both the girl and her brother have been taken out of Brighter.
“Physically, she’s on the mend. She’s working with a plastic surgeon to help minimize what will likely be a lifelong scare,” Hansen said of the injured girl. “Emotionally, she and her family are rightfully traumatized by what happened.”
By Feb. 28, prosecutors decided to charge Wilma Brown with abuse when the 3-year-old a cabinet a month ago. Brown was not in custody Thursday and police did not know her whereabouts. In the meantime, a warrant for her arrest has been issued and she will be held without bail. Police ask anyone with information on Brown to call the Vinita Park Precinct.
The second worker, Ariana Silver has also been charged with abuse after she punctured the skin of a child in day care.
North County Police Cooperative Assistant Chief Maj. Ron Martin said Brown trained Silver was at Brighter.
As a substitute for $50,000 bail, Silver is in custody.