BELLEVIEW, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - According to an arrest affidavit from the Belleview Police Department a 2-year-old boy had marks on both of his arms, his face, and a bruised lip. Those are the injuries police noticed on the child after his mother picked him up from Belleview’s West Family Learning Center II Daycare Center, Tuesday. Police said a “distinctive pattern” in one of his injuries “looks like it came from a shoe.”
Lieutenant Lawrence Bryan, a spokesperson for the Belleview Police Department, told Fox 35’s David Williams, “It looks like a tread mark from a shoe. There’s absolutely no way that child could’ve done that to himself.”
The daycare’s Assistant Director, 30-year-old Valencia Daniels, is facing a felony child abuse charge. She turned herself in to Belleview Police Wednesday, where she was arrested. Police said the child was alone with Daniels for a short time, when he was taken from a classroom to calm down from a temper tantrum after dropping his lunch, and returned with marks on his body.
Police told Fox 35 the daycare immediately wrote its own statements and called his mother. The child’s mother went to police. The report said someone got a text from Daniels that night saying “I may be going to jail.”
“She admitted she had thrown the shoes away that she had been wearing the day of the incident,” Lt. Bryan explained.
Cassie Smith, who’s child used to attend the day care said “the incident makes her sick. “It’s disgusting to me," Smith said. "It’s such a well-known day care. I researched them a lot before I put my own kid in there and thought I had felt comfortable with the people that had worked there.”
The Director of the daycare center, Levitriss McClellan, told Fox 35’s David Wlliams, "We are currently not releasing any statements. But, we are working with local law enforcement agencies, department of children and families, and other child care agencies. We have been cooperating fully with law enforcement since the incident occurred. We will continue to cooperate fully."
In the police report, McClellan told police staff is not allowed to use corporal punishment.
Belleview Police told Fox 35, this is the first time they’ve ever had an issue at the daycare center.
Lt. Bryan said as far as Belleview Police knows, the two-year-old child is doing fine Thursday.