A day care worker in Pennsylvania has been fired and charged with simple assault after being caught on camera allegedly pushing a 4-year-old down a flight of stairs (video below).
The worker, identified as Sarah Gable, 52, can be seen in the video pushing the young girl down from the top of the stairs, CNN Wire reports. As the girl tumbles down five or six steps and out of the frame, Gable is seen looking up at the camera.
Gable was fired from the Child Care of the Future day care center in Clifton Heights outside of Philadelphia, and was arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and assault. Gable was later released from jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.
"I think it’s every parent’s worst nightmare that sends their kid to day care," said Michael Chitwood, Upper Darby police superintendent.
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Gable had worked at Child Care of the Future for about a year, but reportedly had 25 years of child care experience, CBS News reports. It is unclear what caused her to allegedly push the child, who sustained a knee injury from the incident and was very "shaken up," according to Shwayne Tavares, another employee at the day care.
The girl said that her knee hurt after the incident, but reportedly "did not appear to have any outward signs of injury," according to Heavy.
Tavares said she saw Gable push the girl on March 3 while watching on a camera that the center had installed only a half hour earlier.
"I said, 'What are you doing? We don't do this to children,'" Tavares recalled.
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"I was so upset. I had tears in my eyes," Tavares said. "She picked up the shoe and tried to come to the end of the stairs like, 'Oh, it was her shoe' that caused her to fall. I’m like, 'It's not her shoe, I just watched you on camera do it.'"
"It still hurts me, just seeing the video. When I saw it air I was just like, 'Wow.' It still hurts," Tavares said. "The little girl was just really shaken up. Her eyes were literally like 'help me.'"
Tavares said that despite her knee hurting, the girl went back to day care the next morning. She said that the child was "a little scared of the steps" after the incident.
"This was a horrific act, a betrayal of trust," said Chitwood during a press conference. "We entrust our children with certified people who are supposed to care for our children as if they were their own."
Parents who have let Gable care for their children were reportedly shocked at the incident.
"My little guy, she would greet him with a hug. So I always thought she was one of the best teachers," said Ronnie Siekor, a parent who remembers Gable. "For us to hear this is very disheartening."