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INVESTIGATION Toddler's leg injury leads to police probe



Published: Fri, April 15, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The 2-year-old suffered a spiral fracture while at a preschool.

YOUNGSTOWN -- A toddler's broken leg has led to an investigation by Mahoning County Children Services and the Juvenile Bureau of the Youngstown Police Department.

The investigation, which started in late March, concerns an episode at Eagle's Christian Preschool and Childcare, 2733 Market St. According to police reports, around 7 p.m. March 28, an ambulance was called to the school to take a 2-year-old girl to the emergency room.

The child was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where X-rays showed that she had a spiral fracture in her left leg, reports said. A doctor told a police officer who came to the emergency room that the injury was "fairly severe" and that spiral fractures in children are most often caused by "abuse or blunt force trauma," according to reports.

Doctors recommended that child be taken to Akron Children's Medical Center for surgery.

The incident

According to police reports, the child was dropped off at the preschool around 11 a.m. by her mother. At 7 p.m., the child's aunt came by to pick up her own daughter and the 2-year-old. When she arrived, school personnel had called for an ambulance and were trying to get in touch with the child's mother, said Joe McGeorge, an administrator at Eagle's Christian.

McGeorge said the child has undergone surgery. He said he is not sure of her condition or whether she is still in the hospital. The mother could not be reached to comment, and the hospital in Akron does not release information on patients when there is an ongoing police investigation, according to hospital spokesperson Laurie Schueler.

The school, which has been operating since 1998, is cooperating with the investigation, McGeorge said. "We're kind of in limbo right now. I really don't know what's going on or when we'll know more," McGeorge said. "But we have nothing to hide."

On leave

Police reports indicate that the child began whining and crying, saying that her leg hurt. The employee who was with the child at the time had been with the school for about 11 months, McGeorge said. She has been placed on leave until the investigation is complete, McGeorge said.

"I can assure you that there was no abuse or neglect on our part, in any way, shape or form," he said.

The child's mother has complained that she was not notified of the injury, but the school was trying to contact her when the aunt arrived, McGeorge said.

"Everything was happening at once," he said. "We had tried to reach the mother at work, and the number wasn't good. We had the file out and were going down the list of numbers [when the child's aunt arrived]. We were making calls."

YPD Lt. Rod Foley said the investigation is continuing.




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