Three employees of the Hands of Our Future Day Care Center in Dover, Delaware have been arrested after police received evidence the women allegedly encouraged two three-year-olds to fight each other.
Yesterday, the Dover Police Department announced the arrest of the three women. Although the alleged incident took place in March 2012, it is just recently that police officers viewed a cell phone video of the the fight.
Tiana Harris, 19, Estefania Myers, 21, and Lisa Parker, 47, all face two counts of assault 2nd, two counts of reckless endangering, nine counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of conspiracy 2nd.
The defendants are accused of running what has been referred to as a "toddler fight club," complete with rules. Fox News reports police say one of the children can be heard on the tape yelling, "He's pinching me." One of the adult's responded, "No pinching, only punching."
Capt. Tim Stump, of the Dover Police Department, is quoted in the New York Daily News as saying, "It's shocking, disturbing and infuriating to watch this video that shows the two children whaling on each other." Stump added, "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."
While neither child was seriously injured, police say the tape, which is not being released to the public, clearly shows they were hurting each other.
As News Journal reports, a special meeting was held at the Dover police station last night and about 75 parents and guardians attended. Officials with the city and social services were also present. While the video was not shown at the meeting, police described what they had seen.
Amy Bickerling, whose four-year-old son attended Hands of Our Future, said she was shocked at the allegations of what happened at the daycare center she found "a clean, well-run facility with friendly staff." Bickerling added, "It's very disturbing to think anything like that could go on. I know these teachers. I go on all the field trips. I've never seen anything irregular."
The Dover Post reports the Dover Department of Planning and Inspections has suspended Hands of Our Future's business license. Investigators with Delaware's Office of Child Care Licensing are working with the Dover police in their investigation.
The three suspects have each posted a $10,000 bond and Hands of Our Future will remain closed until the investigation is completed and a hearing is held.