Warning: Video shows violence against a child and may be disturbing to some viewers
ST. LOUIS -- A three-year-old was taken to a Missouri hospital via ambulance after she was apparently thrown against a cabinet by a daycare teacher, according to KTVI.
Surveillance video at Brighter Day Care and Preschool shows the incident. In the video, the girl appears calm while standing by a chair for two minutes before a teacher walks across the room towards her. The teacher grabs the child’s arm, drags her and throws her against a cabinet.
The child was taken to a local hospital where she received seven stitches and was released.
After the child was injured, the teacher reportedly sent a note home to parents saying "she fall."
“In no world did this family have any idea that what was called a fall was actually an assault until they came to see that video,” said attorney Jennifer Hansen.
The family hired Hansen for representation and asked to remain anonymous.
“One of the more egregious aspects of this case is that the daycare director told the family that she did not watch the surveillance tape until the family was with her," Hansen said.
Hansen said it was five days after the incident when the child's relative used a cell phone to record the surveillance video. You can hear her shock in the relative’s voice when she sees it wasn't an accident as reported.
“The daycare could've reviewed that footage at any time," Hansen said. "They didn't and they allowed the daycare worker who assaulted this little girl to continue to work at the facility for five additional days."
The director fired the teacher after seeing the video. Police are investigating along with state child care inspectors.
KTVI found those inspectors also reported past cases of kids getting hurt at that location. In May 2018, inspectors noted a second teacher "slam a child down on the cot" and a third teacher "holding a child by his wrist, dragging him across the room."
In June 2016, inspectors said, "staff did not have a preventative plan in place" when "(one child was) repeatedly hitting and choking another child."
And in March 2016, inspectors wrote that a "child fell out of the chair and sustained a left femoral fracture."
Daycare director Sharon Williams told KTVI she could not comment because of the ongoing investigation. Her attorney then sent a statement, saying: “All teachers and staff are properly trained and extremely qualified. Providing a quality education in a safe environment is of the utmost importance to our teachers and staff. It has always been our policy to notify the proper authorities and to fully comply with any investigation. We have and will continue to follow said policy.”