June 5, 2007
Albemarle County Police have arrested a daycare employee for allegedly assaulting a child.
Lori Fielding had been sending her two young children to the Woodlands Day school, that was until last Thursday.
That's when Fielding says she witnessed first hand a child being abused by one of the workers.
"She took her hand, went up under the bathroom stall, took him by his hair, jerked him up in the air, slammed him back down on the ground, then jerked him by the neck and shook, not shook but jerked him back and forth a couple of times yelling at him the entire time" said Fielding.
On Monday police arrested the 61-year-old employee Mashia Yusuf and charged her with assault and battery, saying this is not actually a case of child abuse.
"To go to a child negect, felony type of case it really needs to be more serious where that child was introduced to some type of illegal activity or participate in something illegal. This was a mere fact that a citizen saw perhaps an inappropriate act" said Sgt. Mike Wagner, Albemarle County Police.
Fielding says even her own son is admitting to her that he too had been struck by the worker.
"Gavin has told me three times in the last six months that kum kum hit him, 'mommy kum kum hit me' said Fielding.
The day care refuses to comment, but based on a message left by their director is aware of the situation
"I fired her, I don't know what else you want me to do. I mean the way that you left your message I feel was unecessary and unfair" said the director in a voicemail.
But Fielding's not finished. She is making sure that alleged incident was the last.
"It's the worst thing that I've ever seen in my life and I hope I never have to see it again. It was terrible, to know that my son has been beat" said Fielding.
Police say that because only one parent has made accusations, it is not enough to classify as child abuse.