Two day care workers are facing charges of child endangerment after video emerged showing a 5-year-old girl being assaulted while in their care. Footage from the facility shows older children “grabbing, pulling, dragging, swinging, and just ‘bullying’ the victim,” while the girl cowers with her eyes closed and tries “to curl up into a fetal position.”
The video was recorded at Worthington Learning Center in Columbus, Ohio. According to a report by New York Daily News, 31-year-old Emma Dietrich and 27-year-old Joshua Tennant – two employees at the facility – are the employees seen in the footage.
At approximately 11:20 am, one of the bullies arrived in Dietrich’s classroom. Police stated that, at one point, “the victim attempts to get away from the other students & they continue to ‘bully’ her by grabbing her & holding her down.”
As the 5-year-old girl is being violently attacked by other children, Dietrich and Tennant remained seated in their chairs, watching the incident unfold before them.
Later in the video, according to the Columbus Division of Police, Tennant intervenes. He grabs the 5-year-old girl – initially grabbing her ankle and then by her left leg – and lifts her into the air. Tennant then carries her, as she dangles upside down, to a nearby rug.
Police released a single frame from the footage, showing Tennant holding the 5-year-old up by her leg.
On Tuesday, both Dietrich and Tennant were arrested.
The Worthington Learning Center is cooperating with authorities while the investigation is underway. Lisa Rowe, the day care owner, said that she is “heartbroken” over the incident. Rowe also asserted that both Dietrich and Tennant had been fired.
The mother of the five-year-old girl said that the incident was only discovered because one of the children who witnessed the assault told a parent. That parent then contacted local authorities.