A Florida daycare worker has been charged with battery after authorities claimed she allowed her daughter to pummel a little boy whose arms she held behind his back.
Video footage of the March 1 incident showed Martha Balmaseda Marrero, 31, breaking up an altercation between two kids, speaking to them for a few moments and then holding the 7-year-old boy’s hands while the 4-year-old girl, identified in reports as her daughter, hits him in the face and the midsection, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Adam Linhardt said, according to the Miami Herald.
“The Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the incident on March 7,” the MCSO said in a statement. “The mother [of the 7-year-old] said her two other children who also attend the day care witnessed the incident on corroborated what the boy told her. The mother said she alerted church officials.”
Balmaseda Marrero, who worked at St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church’s daycare in Key Largo, was fired shortly afterward, according to the sheriff office’s press release.
The sheriff’s office added that there were no serious injuries reported in the incident.
In a notarized statement included in Det. Josh Brady’s arrest report, Balmaseda Marrera said she had held the boy down in order to teach the girl self defense.
“So, I told this girl to defense [sic] herself. I told the kid to protect the girl, never with the intention of the boy to get hurt,” Balmaseda Marrera said, according to the Miami Herald.
Marrero, who was arrested on Friday, was released on $5,000 bond, according to Yahoo News.
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