Parents whose children attended a Delaware daycare were stunned after officials shut down the facility and suspended its license upon learning that three employees allegedly encouraged toddlers to fight.
According to Dover police, a cell phone video shows a pair of three-year-olds squaring off while the workers in question cheered them on.
During the fight, one child can be heard crying and complaining that his opponent is pinching him. According to NBC Philadelphia, the worker tells the other child, “No pinching, only punching.”
On Monday, police arrested Tiana Harris, 19, of Dover; Estefania Myers, 21, of Felton; and Lisa Parker, 47, of Dover. All three women face two counts each of second-degree assault and reckless endangerment as well as nine counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count each of conspiracy.
“Clearly one of the children is crying and does not want to continue on, and he is pushed back into the fray by one of the adults,” Dover Police Captain Tim Stump told CBS.
According to Delaware Online, police said Harris and Myers were “shown and heard laughing and encouraging the altercation.”
The incident came to light when a Dover police officer saw the video over the weekend during an unrelated investigation and alerted detectives.
City officials temporarily shut down the Hands of Our Own Daycare pending investigation, but this is just another reminder for parents to remain extremely vigilant about thoroughly checking out the people watching their children.