Three day care workers are accused of encouraging a fight between toddlers in their care – and police say a videotape shows the 3-year-olds punching each other, with one boy screaming, crying and trying in vain to escape.
Tiana Harris, 19, Estefania Myers, 21, and Lisa Parker, 47, were released from a Delaware jail Tuesday after posting $10,000 bond each following their arrest Monday on felony assault and conspiracy charges, along with a number of misdemeanor counts relating to child endangerment, according to a police news release.
The three women were employed by Hands of Our Future LLC Day Care, where, authorities said, they organized a fight between two toddlers while a number of other children were present.
Authorities obtained footage of the March 6 incident, which was taken on one of the accused women’s cell phones. The footage was discovered during an unrelated investigation, according to ABC News station WPVI.
Harris and Myers are seen and heard laughing and encouraging the fight on the recording, police told The Associated Press, while Parker allegedly grabbed one of the boys and forced him to continue.
“They’re doing nothing to prevent this from happening,” Dover Police Capt. Tim Stump told the AP.
In fact, he added, referring to one of the boys, ”He’s crying, he doesn’t want any part of continuing, and he rushes to one of the defendants and is turned around and shoved back into the fray.”
Police have not released the video.
Officials in Delaware suspended the day care center’s license, pending a hearing, after the footage was discovered and the three were arrested.
Authorities held a meeting at the Dover Police Department on Monday for parents of the children who attended the Hands of Our Future Daycare, where officers answered questions relating to the incident.
Police were unavailable Tuesday night to tell ABC News whether or not the three women had attorneys.
The Associated Press was unable to reach the women for comment.
The three workers face a preliminary hearing Friday, the AP reported.