Two workers at a church day care center in Georgia have been charged in a child abuse case for allegedly slapping a 3-year-old boy in an incident caught on camera.
The Clarkston Police Department issued arrest warrants for Bernetta Glover and Autumn Coney on Friday for first-degree child cruelty following a July 6 incident at Clarkston First Baptist Academy.
The women allegedly threw the little boy to the ground, pulled him by the hair, threw him into a corner and repeatedly slapped and punched him, according to a police report obtained by Fox 5 Atlanta.
The boy’s mother, Krystin Collier, said her son had new bruises and was visibly upset when his grandmother picked him up from daycare on July 6 in interviews with local news stations.
“That day he was very, very emotional, distant. He was missing a shoe; he was very disheveled,” Collier told CBS46 News.
The concerned mother immediately sensed something was wrong at the church daycare and demanded to see video footage from a camera inside the facility that day.
The daycare released the video on July 13, and what Collier saw made her sick.
“One of the teachers picks up my son on one side of his body and smacks him on the other side of his body, I guess to make him sit down,” Collier told WSB-TV Atlanta.
The video, shared by Collier to WSB-TV, reportedly shows a teacher picking up Collier’s son and aggressively throwing him to the ground.
“Staff punched my child in the face, grabbed him by the ponytail and led him around like he was on a leash. I saw her grab him by his ponytail, slam him against the wall, punch him in the face,” Collier told CBS46.
The mother immediately removed her son from the daycare program and called the police.
She said she felt she could trust a church to take care of her son.
“I’m very disgusted, very disappointed, because this is a church daycare,” Collier told WSB-TV. “I trusted these people with my child.”
Collier has hired a lawyer to seek justice.
“From what I’ve seen on this tape, there’s no question that the church is responsible for the injuries, the emotional abuse,” his lawyer Jackie Patterson said.