( 4UMF NEWS ) Toddler Fight Club At Daycare Center:
Three employees of a Delaware daycare were arrested Monday after police say a ‘disturbing’ cell phone video allegedly captured two toddlers participating in an organized fistfight.
The Hands of Our Future LLC Daycare in Dover also had its license suspended pending a hearing, CBS 3 in Philadelphia reported.
Three of the center’s employees — Tiana Harris, 19; Estefania Myers, 21; and Lisa Parker, 47 — are accused of forcing two 3-year-olds to strike one another in the head and face repeatedly last March.
“It’s shocking, disturbing and infuriating to watch this video that shows the two children whaling on each other,” Dover Police Capt. Tim Stump told The News Journal. “These are our most precious cargo and to have adults responsible for caring for their well -being to have them behave as such is sickening.”
While the footage was not released publicly, police said one of the children could be heard yelling, “He’s pinching me,” and then a worker responding, “No pinching, only punching,” CBS reported.
“Clearly one of the children is crying and does not want to continue on and he is pushed back into the fray by one of the adults,” Stump told the station.
Court records say Parker allegedly forced one of the toddlers who was being hit to “continue in the physical altercation,” while Harris and Myers allegedly looked on laughing and spurred on the slugging, according to The News Journal.
Police met with parents Monday to answer questions about the incident. It wasn’t immediately clear what injuries the tots may have suffered.
Parent Cristyl Slack told CBS that her 4-year-old daughter was at the daycare on the day of the fight.
“That pissed me off just because I feel if my daughter is around anything, I should have known that day,” Slack said.
“It’s very disturbing to think anything like that could go on,” another mom, Amy Bickerling, told The News Journal. “I know these teachers. I go on all the field trips. I’ve never seen anything irregular.”
Police were shown the video by a man while investigating an unrelated incident.
Harris, Myers and Parker were each charged with assault, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangering and conspiracy, according to reports.
The daycare’s owner couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.