Florida Day Care Worker Accused of Breaking Leg of Misbehaving Child

A woman employed as a day care worker in Florida is facing a child abuse charge after being accused of fracturing a child's leg while he was misbehaving.

Estefany Acosta, 24, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with aggravated battery on a child following an incident which allegedly took place at Early Learning Academy in Boca Raton on January 10. The young victim was 3 years old, NBC affiliate WFLA reported.

Acosta worked at the school, located at 2300 West Yamato Road, from November 2019 until being let go from the role last week, an arrest affidavit said.

Officers responded to the abuse allegation on January 11 following an allegation a teacher "sat on [the child's] right leg when he was misbehaving."

The child's mother said her son was walking normally when he was dropped off at about 7:15 a.m.

Shortly before 11 a.m., however, the mother said she was sent a voicemail from the school saying the child sustained a leg injury that staff said occurred after he kicked a metal chair. The child's father told police he received a call about 11 a.m. saying the son had a "bump on his shin."

When the mother picked up the child at about 3:45 p.m., she said her son "appeared to be in a lot of pain." He was shivering, had urinated on himself and had not eaten, the affidavit noted.

The child was later taken to West Boca Medical Center after being unable to walk properly, where a doctor confirmed that he had a "linear nondisplaced fracture" on his right leg.

Detectives met with the school's owner, Jeneille Como, on January 13. Como said she had been off work on the day of the incident and confirmed Acosta had been the only teacher in the room. Acosta's initial story, that the child had kicked a chair, soon unravelled.

The police report stated: "When the school administrative staff confronted Acosta with the fact that the classroom was under video surveillance she got nervous and changed her story." She then suggested the child may have sustained the injury "when she accidentally fell on him."

During a review of the footage, investigators said the child could be seen getting upset after having to come inside from the playground after it started to rain outside at about 10:30 a.m. The boy appeared to repeatedly be "non-compliant" and allegedly spat on the floor.

Police said the teacher was seen grabbing the child by the arm and lifting him off the ground, seemingly to get a paper towel. Minutes later she was seen putting him down and bending over him. "It appeared her right knee landed on top of [the child's] right leg," police noted.

An injury report filled out on the day said the injury occurred when the child was wiping the carpet and the teacher "knelt down to help him and her leg pressed down on his leg."

Acosta was interviewed by investigators on January 14.

She "admitted that the manner in which she picked up [child] was inappropriate, dangerous and could have led to him being seriously injured," the police report said.

Officials noted she denied causing the child's leg injury and denied telling other staff that the boy had kicked a chair.

Acosta was booked at the Palm Beach County Jail. The Palm Beach Post reported Acosta, a Venezuela native living in Florida, surrendered her passport after being released from jail.

Estefany Acosta
Estefany Acosta, 24, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with aggravated battery on a child following an incident which allegedly took place at the Early Learning Academy January 10. Palm Beach County Jail/Boca Raton PD
Florida Day Care Worker Accused of Breaking Leg of Misbehaving Child | U.S.