A daycare worker in Connecticut was arrested after police say she threw a toddler against a wall, slammed another child into a door and physically restrained a third on a cot.
Ashley Swietek, 25, who was in charge of the "Cheerios classroom" at the Mother Goose Children's Center in South Windsor, now faces three felony counts of risk of injury to a child stemming from the alleged abuse.
Three of the supervisors at the center, including the owner, are also facing charges after police say they failed to report the abuse to police or the state's child protection agency, according to the Hartford Courant.
The owner of the center, Marjorie Glater, 74, didn't fire or report Swietek after knowing about at least one of the incidents — because she allegedly wanted to give Swietek a chance, reported the Journal Inquirer.
Glater and supervisors Nicole Moriarty, 36, and Brandy Novack, 44, each face a misdemeanor charge of failure of a mandated reporter to report abuse.
All four women were arrested July 23.
Swietek, who worked in a room with children between 12 and 18 months old, was involved in multiple incidents of abuse, according to an arrest warrant obtained by Oxygen.com.
Police began their investigation in April after another teacher at the center called police to say she'd observed Swietek holding an 18-month-old child down on his cot during nap time by placing her legs over his legs and her hands on his back to prevent him from moving.
The teacher said she called police directly because "there had been numerous complaints to management by herself and other staff members about Swietek's 'aggressiveness' toward children but nothing was ever done about it," the warrant said.
Police investigated the incident and found that Swietek had been spoken to once before by Glater and Moriarty for being "a little rough with words," the arrest warrant said. Swietek reportedly denied the allegations to police.
There was no physical evidence of the abuse and the case was closed. It was later reopened after a social worker with the state Department of Children and Families submitted a report of suspected abuse at the center. At this time, police say they learned Glater had lied to them about Swietek's disciplinary files, which included two other incidents of abuse dating back to October of 2016.
According to the warrant, in October 2016 a former employee had reported Swietek had gotten upset with a 17-month girl who wouldn't come up the stairs as they were going in from the playground. She then allegedly pulled on the girl's harness too hard, slamming her into the door. The employee who reported the incident said it didn't appear Swietek showed concern for the children's safety in her care at that moment.
More than a year later in November of 2017, the arrest warrant said Swietek allegedly picked up a 16-month-old and threw him, making his head snap backward and slam into the wall.
An employee at the time reported the incident to Novack, a backup supervisor, who asked her to write a report about what happened for Moriarty, the infant/toddler program manager.
Moriarty saw the report the following day and allegedly told the staff member who reported the incident to go directly to her about such incidents in the future so it wasn't seen as "gossip," the warrant said.
Police say Glater was aware of the reports of the abuse and had told Swietek she needed to seek counseling to gain coping skills for stress and anxiety, according to the Journal Inquirer.
She also repeatedly referred to the teacher who alerted police as "the one who caused all of this," the paper reported.
Swietek is currently free on a $75,000 bond as she waits for an Aug. 2 court date, the Associated Press reports.
[Photo: South Windsor Police Department]
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