Two misdemeanor charges filed in day care attacks

Published 11:25 am Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Two people were jailed last week after a series of assaults at a Vicksburg day care center.

A 23-year-old Vicksburg man was arrested July 16 for slapping a 6-year-old child at Kiddie City child care center, 1783 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., police Chief Walter Armstrong said.

The man thought the 6-year-old had assaulted his 11-month old and 23-month-old children, but the real culprit, Armstrong said, was a 9-year-old bully.

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“The 9-year-old pointed at the 6-year-old and then all the other children followed,” Armstrong said. “He got slapped for nothing. He was just there; he didn’t do anything.”

A day care employee witnessed the slapping, but did not report it to police, Armstrong said. She was later charged with two counts of contributing to the neglect of a child.

People answering the phone at Kiddie City this morning declined to comment.

The two infants suffered bruises, contusions and bite marks at the hands of the 9-year-old, Armstrong said. The same day care worker who witnessed the slapping was in the room when the 9-year-old attacked the two younger children, Armstrong said.

“The video clearly shows that the day care worker did not see these incidents taking place, but it also shows that she was not paying attention either,” Armstrong said.

The worker told the mother of the children that the 23-month-old was injured in a fall, Armstrong said.

The mother was suspicious, but did not initially report the assaults to police because she had an outstanding warrant, Armstrong said. Instead she reported the assault to the Department of Human Services, which turned the case over to police Friday.

“She could have come by the police department that Monday, but we had to learn through DHS,” Armstrong said.

All charges filed in the cases were misdemeanors because none of the children suffered serious or permanent injuries, Armstrong said.

The 9-year-old child is expected to appear in Youth Court, but cannot be sentenced to a detention center because he is younger than 10, Armstrong said.