Police investigate allegations against Liberty day care


By Ed Runyan

runyan@vindy.com

LIBERTY

The Liberty Police Department has completed its investigation into a child-abuse complaint against the ABC Day Care and Learning Center, 227 E. Liberty St.

Police reviewed an audio-recording of the June 29 incident in which one or more day-care workers purportedly threw water on a child’s face and held her down by her arms while she was throwing a tantrum.

A police report lists the workers as the owner of the day care and her daughter. They are not charged.

Capt. Toby Meloro of the Liberty Police Department said the incident was reported to police by Trumbull County Children Services and the child’s relatives.

Children Services told police the owner and her daughter purportedly threw water in the little girl’s face, and other staff members held the girl down by her arms and shook her while the child was screaming, according to a Liberty police report.

Meloro said he interviewed the owner and daughter and a former day-care employee to assist Children Services. He and Children Services will meet with the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office today to discuss the case and determine whether it is a criminal matter or whether it will have implications for the day care’s licensing.

The Vindicator’s broadcast partner, 21 WFMJ-TV, obtained a copy of the audiotape, in which the 3-year-old child of Girard can be heard crying.

A woman can be heard asking the girl, “Do you want something? Do you want something?” After the woman says that several times, the woman says, “I’m not letting you go until you stop crying.”

Then the woman says, “Like water?” and later uses the words “shock therapy.” Soon afterward, the woman says four times “Do you want it again?”

The voice shortly thereafter says, “Do you want water again?”

The owner denied anyone at the center used force to restrain the girl, according to the television station.

“I just used a cool cloth to wipe the girl’s face to calm her down,” she said.

Meloro said he believes the two adult voices heard in the recording are those of the owner and her daughter. He said he believes the recording, which does not have video, was made by a former employee.

The child no longer attends the day care, he added.

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