Florida Daycare Worker Charged With Child Abuse After Hitting, Dropping 1-Year-Old Child

A daycare worker in Florida was recently arrested and charged with child abuse after she was seen on surveillance videos dropping and hitting a 1-year-old child.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the incident occurred on September 8 at around 8 a.m. local time, when 51-year-old Yamirka Menendez, a worker at the Time of Wonder Daycare, is seen on video taking a 1-year-old child out of a "mechanical swing" by his wrists. The video then shows Menendez lifting the child "about three feet in the air over a retaining wall" and dropping the 1-year-old on the floor.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said in a press release that after Menendez dropped the 1-year-old boy on the floor, he was unable to "stand upright or place weight on his left foot and leg."

The video then cuts to another incident that occurred at around 12 p.m. local time, where Menendez can be seen hitting the same 1-year-old boy in the head while he is in the mechanical swing.

As the video continues, a timestamp showed that at around 1:08 p.m., Menendez can be seen feeding another child, who is sitting on her lap. According to police, the second child was 4 months old. The video showed Menendez "forcefully" grabbing the 4-month-old's leg and slapping the victim several times.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, on September 9, the mother of the 1-year-old child noticed that her son was suffering pain in his left foot and brought him to St. Joseph's Hospital. Doctors said that the boy suffered a fracture to his tibia and fibula, police said.

On September 23, officials with the University of South Florida's Child Protection Team examined the 1-year-old child and determined that his injuries showed "signs of physical abuse."

"Detectives worked with the Time of Wonder Daycare, reviewed the video recordings from the room, and Menendez was arrested on September 28," the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Police also charged another daycare employee that was in the room at the time of the incident with failure to report child abuse. The second employee was identified by police as 52-year-old Milagros Rodriguez.

In a video provided to Newsweek, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said that the incident is "every parent's worst nightmare coming true."

"We drop our child off at daycare knowing first and foremost, that our child's gonna be safe," Chronister said in the video. "This caretaker should never see the light of day, nonetheless ever have a child in her life."

Florida Daycare Worker
A mugshot of 51-year-old Yamirka Menendez, a Florida daycare worker that was charged with child abuse after hitting, dropping a 1-year-old child. Another daycare employee that was in the room at the time of the incident was charged with failure to report child abuse. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office/Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office