Two Georgia women are wanted in a case of alleged child abuse that was caught on video at a church daycare earlier this month.
According to the Clarkston Police Department, Bernetta Glover and Autumn Coney are currently charged with child cruelty in the first degree over an incident that occurred at the Clarkston First Baptist Academy on July 6, 2022.
Krystin Collier told Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB-TV that her 3-year-old son came home from daycare on the day in question suffering from a swollen jaw and that he was clearly upset.
“This day, he was very, very emotional, standoffish,” she further told Atlanta CBS affiliate WGCL. “He was missing a shoe; he was very disheveled.”
Eventually, the concerned mother demanded video footage of what occurred that day. What she saw shocked and enraged her.
“I’m very disgusted, very disappointed, because this is a church day care,” Collier told WSB. “I trusted these people with my child.”
The boy was immediately pulled from the day care, and some of the footage was shared with WSB.
In one video, an adult “appears to pick the child up by the arms and then by his shirt and throw him down,” the TV station reported.
“One of the teachers picks up my son from one side of her body and slams him to the other side of her body, I guess to get him to settle down,” Collier told WSB-TV reporter Audrey Washington.
An attorney for the mother said there is at least one additional video showing another member of the staff interacting with the young boy.
Details from court documents purport to detail that additional abuse.
According to a police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal Constitution, the child’s grandmother picked him up from the daycare and was the first to notice something wasn’t right because the child was “visibly upset” and “did not seem like himself.” The grandmother then asked to talk to a teacher but that didn’t go anywhere because she said she was worried that the teacher “was going to fight with her,” Atlanta Fox affiliate WAGA reported.
Collier herself noticed bruises on her son’s arm, and the video request was made. The family says the church first tried to downplay what transpired; one supervisor allegedly said the footage didn’t show anything “unacceptable.” The family vehemently disagreed.
According to the police report obtained by the local paper and by WAGA, two teachers pushed the child down onto a classroom mat, pulled him up by his hair, threw him into a corner, slapped him multiple times, and punched him multiple times.
The abuse occurred repeatedly over the course of three hours, according to police.
“The staff punched my child in the face, grab him by his ponytail, and lead him around like it’s a leash,” Collier told WGCL. “I watched her grab him by his top ponytail, slam him against the wall, punch him in the face.”
“I feel so bad for him, and this is the first time that he’s ever been in daycare,” she continued. “This is a church. This is a church, and I trusted the church.”
According to DeKalb County Jail records reviewed by Law&Crime, neither woman charged in connection with the incident had been arrested as of this writing.
[image via screengrab/WSB-TV]
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