Mother Seeks To Keep Daycare Worker From Children

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DELLWOOD, MO. (KPLR) – A mother came forward Tuesday after a Fox 2 exclusive report on a disturbing video capturing an apparent case of child abuse at a day care center in the North St. Louis County suburb of Dellwood.

That mother, Johnneka Williams, worried her son was the child victim in the video the video.  She wants to know authorities are doing about it.

It happened a week ago in the field across from Aarin`s Infant and Childhood Enrichment Center.

The worker was fired.

Parents like Williams wanted to make sure that worker never worked with children again.

Word spread of the incident spread quickly after FOX2 aired the video.

It shows a day care worker, yanking a small boy up from the ground by his coat hood, then knocking the boy down with a knee to the back.

'See, right there, goodness gracious, that`s what scared me,' Williams said, watching an enhanced version of the video at Fox 2.

She missed the news on TV last week but her sister called and told her she had to see
that video.

She looked up the story on Fox2Now.come and couldn`t believe her eyes.

It looked like it might be her autistic son, Morion, 3.   It was hard to tell for sure.  The video was shot from a distance and details like facial features and clothing were not clear.

It was definitely his daycare.  His oversized plaid coat, especially the hood, looked like a match.
'The way she was swinging him with the hood.  It just looks like my child. I wish it was a clearer picture so I could know 100%, regardless of whose child it is, she just needs to be brought to justice,' Williams said.

Police said the woman in the video was Hazel Bland, 48, of Ferguson.

She`s been charged with a felony count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

Williams said her son did not appear to be physically hurt.

'I stripped him completely.  I wanted to check his back.  I wanted to check his neck to see if he had any bruises or anything,' she said.

The day care`s owner, Adrienne Pennington, told Fox 2 Tuesday night, she had confirmed the boy in the video was not Williams son.

She applauded Robert Coates, the man who shot the video, for bringing the incident to light.
Coates, who lives near the day care, said the worst part of the abuse was something he didn`t capture with his cell phone video camera;  the part that made him start recording in the first place.

'She leans back and goes, wham, on the back of the head, and he goes tumbling.  And I`m like ... I`m just standing there stunned for like maybe 30 seconds.  I didn`t know what to do,' Coates said.

Bland faces up to 7 years in prison, if convicted.  FOX2 was unable to reach her for comment.

Previous Stories:
Worker Fired After Daycare Abuse Caught On Tape

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