Entries in Day Care (4)


Delaware Mothers Sue Day Care Over Forced Fights

(DOVER, Del.) -- The mothers of two 3-year-olds who were allegedly encouraged to fight by day care workers who then filmed it on a cell phone are suing the Delaware facility, its owners and several employees.

Police arrested three caregivers in August after detectives viewed the cell phone footage of the fight, resulting in a temporary closure of The Hands of Our Future day care in Dover, but now mothers Tamika Chandler and Makeisha Gray are seeking damages and allege that the March fight was not an isolated incident. They filed the personal injury case on Nov. 9.

"Plaintiffs Kylil and Nashon, three (3) years old at the time of the abuse, were forced to physically pummel each other on several occasions," the criminal complaint reads.

The mothers allege that the facility owners knew about the fights, which the suit calls "ongoing and recurring," yet did nothing to stop them, according to the complaint.

Tiana Harris, 19, Estefania Meyers, 21, and Lisa Parker, 47, were arrested on Aug. 20, and charged with second degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and conspiracy.

The new suit claims also include false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They also accuse the owners of negligence and breach of contract.

The video shows one of the toddlers crying mid-fight and "seeking refuge" with one of the caregivers, who then "physically restrained the fleeing child, and forced him to continue to fight," according to the complaint. Then, the remaining two day care workers are filmed laughing.

The day care reopened last month and is now on probation, according to state records.

Other violations from January 2012 included a failure to wash hands and disinfect surfaces after diaper changes.

The mothers' lawyer, James Meehan, declined to comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Day Care Workers Accused of Encouraging Toddlers’ Screaming, Crying Fight

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DOVER, Del.) -- Three day care workers are accused of encouraging a fight between toddlers in their care -- and police say a videotape shows the 3-year-olds punching each other, with one boy screaming, crying and trying in vain to escape.

Tiana Harris, 19, Estefania Myers, 21, and Lisa Parker, 47, were released from a Delaware jail Tuesday after posting $10,000 bond each following their arrest Monday on felony assault and conspiracy charges, along with a number of misdemeanor counts relating to child endangerment, according to a police news release.

The three women were employed by Hands of Our Future LLC Day Care, where, authorities said, they organized a fight between two toddlers while a number of other children were present.

Authorities obtained footage of the March 6 incident, which was taken on one of the accused women’s cellphones. The footage was discovered during an unrelated investigation, according to ABC News station WPVI.

Police have not released the video.

Officials in Delaware suspended the day care center’s license, pending a hearing, after the footage was discovered and the three were arrested.

Authorities held a meeting at the Dover Police Department on Monday for parents of the children who attended the Hands of Our Future Daycare, where officers answered questions relating to the incident.

Police were unavailable Tuesday night to tell ABC News whether or not the three women had attorneys.

A hearing is scheduled for the women Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Houston Woman Charged in Fatal Day Care Fire Returns to U.S.

Fulton County Sheriff's Office(HOUSTON) -- The Houston woman charged in a day care fire that killed four toddlers is back in the United States after being arrested in Nigeria.

Jessica Tata, 22, became one of the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted Fugitives when she fled from Houston following a fatal fire at her home-based day care center Feb. 24.

Tata was captured in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, by Interpol and U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security agents, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals.

Tata faces four counts of manslaughter, six counts of reckless injury to a child, three counts of abandoning a child under 15 and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Toddlers Elizabeth Kajoh, Kendyll Stradford, Elias Castillo, and Shomari Dickerson died in the fire at the west Houston home called Jackie's Child Care.

Prosecutors allege that Tata left the children alone in the house while she went shopping, and while she was gone, the fire broke out on a stove-top burner that had been left on.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Prosecutor Urges Day Care Worker to Return to U.S. and Face Charges

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- A Houston prosecutor denied Tuesday that it botched the investigation into a day care fire that killed four toddlers, but conceded the woman charged in the fire had left the country and urged her return to the U.S. and face charges.

"If you cared at all about those children, then return," Harris County District Attorney Patricia Lykos said in an appeal to Jessica Tata.

Tata, who ran Jackie's Child Care in Houston, was charged Monday with one count of reckless bodily injury to a child and bond was set at $500,000. But prosecutors realized that Tata, who is 22, had already fled to Nigeria.

Lykos said at a news conference Tuesday that nine additional charges will be filed against Tata, including six more charges of reckless bodily injury to a child and three charges of child endangerment.

The DA also issued an alert that Tata's brother, Ron Tata, was attempting to create a business called "Houston Benefit of Daycare Victims" to solicit money.

"I would urge the Tata family instead of... raising money and who knows where that money is going to and how it's going to be accounted for, that they have Miss Tata return to Harris County and face justice," Lykos said.

The prosecutor called Ron Tata's fundraising plans "reprehensible."

Lykos news conference was held amid criticism that investigators had not acted more quickly after last Thursday's fire and allowed Tata to leave the country.

Tiffany Dickerson is furious that prosecutors never questioned or arrested Tata who ran the day care where seven children were left alone and four -- including Dickerson's young son -- died in a fire that started on the woman's stove.

Lykos defended her team's investigation into the case. It took four days to charge Tata and prosecutors never questioned the Texas-born woman.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio