Police in Texas intend to pursue assault charges against a day care worker seen pulling a three-year-old girl by her hair while another adult recorded the incident and laughed.
According to a statement released to the press, the Lubbock Police Department (LPD) was made aware of the video last Thursday. In the footage, a day care employee appears to pull the girl’s hair on multiple occasions in an attempt to get the child to eat a meal.
“Multiple people began sharing the video on LPD’s social media pages and reporting the video to our LPD dispatch,” the press release noted. “Once the video was brought to LPD’s attention, officers were sent to the daycare to immediately begin an investigation. A police report was written for the incident and a detective with the LPD Family Crimes Unit was assigned the case to continue a thorough investigation into what happened. Due to the nature of the incident, officers also notified Child Protective Services so they could investigate.”
Police later determined that the incident in question actually occurred late last year but was only recently posted online.
“Through that investigation, it was determined the video had actually been recorded on December 26th, but the video was just now surfacing and being shared on social media,” the press release continued.
The child’s mother recently spoke with local CBS affiliate KLBK about the incident–and said her family is angry.
“She was physically abused by an adult and someone that we paid to place for her safety,” said LaQuitta Wilson.”They had no apology. They had no reason. They did not call me. Like I said, everything hit the fan and it’s like they just had nothing to say.”
Wilson also noted that she wasn’t aware of the abuse her daughter suffered until the video went viral.
“I was not contacted by the daycare first,” the girl’s mother said.
The day care, for their part, said in a statement issued to The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal last Friday that the workers who appeared in the video were no longer employed there.
“The owners and Directors of My Little Playhouse Learning Center LLC were made aware of video footage posted on social media at approximately 11:45 a.m.,” the statement noted. “Staff involved were fired immediately. Local authorities (LPD) has been notified and are investigating accordingly. Texas Department of Childcare Licensing has also been notified.”
According to the daycare center’s compliance record with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, My Little Playhouse has racked up 19 violations since 2016.
Some of the girl’s family, however, saw the incident as a teaching moment for the daycare center.
“Make sure that the people that are working there has no criminal background because if they’ll do it to a child, they’ll do it to the elderly. So we just want to make sure this never happens to another child,” Shanna Walker, the girl’s grandmother told KLBK.
Police have yet to identify the daycare worker involved but the decision to move forward with assault charges is likely to be met with praise by the girl’s family.
“We want any legal action that can happen, any legal action that happened to her, like jail time,” Martreal Walker, the girls’ father, told KLBK.
[image via screengrab]