Crime and Safety

Daycare worker who grabbed infant by the ponytail and threw the child to the ground causing the ponytail to become detached from the head is indicted, the daycare’s license is officially suspended

Working parents are having hard times when they have to find proper, safe and convenient daycare facility to look over their children, especially when it comes to infants. The increasing number of incidents with daycare workers in the last couple of years additionally makes the parents’ decision much more complicated when it comes to choosing the best daycare option for their children.

The local community and the parents of a 1-year-old child were nothing but devastated when they discovered what the infant had been through in an early March incident when the child was assaulted by a daycare employee. The inspection in the daycare facility that took place few days after the incident led to the arrest of the daycare worker on March 19, she got her license suspended and was officially charged by the end of the month.

According to WXIX, the daycare employee involved in the incident was identified as the 27-year-old K. Hemmitt and she was indicted in March on charges of assault, child endangering and tampering with evidence. Per the court records, Hemmitt is accused of assaulting 1-year-old while she was taking care of the infant causing the child to suffer several injuries.

Hemmitt, who worked in the Small Kids Adventures Learning Center in Ohio, allegedly grabbed the child by the hair, lifted her off the ground and dragged her across the room. She then allegedly jerked the child back and forth, ripping the hair from her scalp. ODJFS commissioned a report on the incident that found the child was “grabbed by the ponytail, thrown to the ground […]causing the ponytail to become detached from the head,” the station reported.

What is even more shocking in the whole incident is the fact that Hemmitt later tried to cover up the child’s bald spots and threw the hair away in a trash can, the county’s prosecutor appointed to this case confirmed.

“This is every working parent’s worst nightmare. To leave your child at a facility that is responsible for their care and to have this happen is sickening. There is simply no justification for why someone would do this to a 1-year-old baby,” prosecutor Joe Deters said.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reports indicate that the same daycare facility failed every single inspection since 2019. Up until 2019, the daycare had much better results with the inspections, but since then, the daycare has never achieved full compliance in any inspection, not even with the annual inspections when ODJFS has found at least 57 instances of rule breaking every single time.

The most recent incident forced the ODJFS to conduct yet another inspection and it was concluded that the staff member had used “cruel, harsh, unusual or extreme techniques” in managing unacceptable behavior in children. The daycare facility was recommended by the ODJFS to immediately fire that employee. Following this incident, authorities are investigating if Hemmitt was involved in other incidents prior to her most recent one.

The inspection also found “the administrator, child-care staff, and/or employees of the program did not protect or remove a child from a situation and/or person determined to be unsafe, which resulted in a serious incident of injury to a child.”

The daycare facility was immediately closed after the inspection and it was decided to remain closed until the investigation about the incident is finished. By the end of the month, the daycare license was suspended. If convicted on all charges, Hemmitt faces the maximum possible sentence of 11 years in prison.

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