Dramatic video captured a Missouri daycare employee grabbing a young girl by the arm and throwing her into cabinet, splitting the girl’s forehead open, requiring seven stitches.
The 3-year-old girl’s parents had initially been told she received the injury Feb. 1 during a “fall” but later requested to see the surveillance footage from the Brighter Daycare and Preschool in Pine Lawn after concerns that there may have been more to the child’s injury.
“The family requested they look at the surveillance video because they had trouble understanding how their daughter could sustain such a severe injury as a result of a fall," attorney Jennifer Hansen, who is representing the family, told ABC News. "They only learned that what had been called a 'fall' was actually an assault."
They were shocked to see the daycare center’s employee grab the girl’s arm and hurl her into a cabinet, sending her flying into the air until she landed on a small classroom rug.
The employee reportedly filled out an “unintentional injury form” describing the injury as a “bump” on her head after falling on the carpet, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The North County Police Cooperative is now investigating the injury, along with another instance of alleged abuse they discovered while viewing the surveillance footage. Sgt. Kevin Smith told ABC News that officers also discovered an employee at the center grabbing a child by the arm so hard that the employee’s fingernails punctured the child’s skin leaving bruises.
The workers involved in both incidents are no longer employed at the center.
“We can assure you the children are no longer in danger,” Smith told The Post-Dispatch, adding that detectives plan to seek warrants in the cases soon.
The director of the center told the young girl’s parents she had footage of the incident but hadn’t had time to watch it. She reportedly watched it for the first time in a room with the girl’s parents five days after the injury occurred.
In a statement given to the local paper, an attorney for the daycare’s director said the center was cooperating with authorities and was committed to “providing a quality education in a safe environment” for the children it serves.
The 3-year-old girl, who the family has asked not be identified, was transported to the hospital where she stayed for three days after the injury got infected.
"Physically, she's on the mend. She's working with a plastic surgeon to help minimize what will likely be a lifelong scare," Hansen told ABC News. "Emotionally, she and her family are rightfully traumatized by what happened."
The family is still considering whether they plan to file a lawsuit. The young girl and her brother no longer attend the daycare center.
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