Daycare worker accused of child abuse after mother finds out 1-year-old son has broken tibia and fibula: sheriff

Sep. 30 2021, Published 9:23 a.m. ET

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A Florida daycare worker is accused of hitting and dropping a 1-year-old boy in an alleged incident that caused serious injuries to the toddler, authorities said.

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On Sept. 8 around 8 a.m. at Time of Wonder Daycare in Tampa, surveillance video allegedly shows worker Yamirka Menendez, 51, grab the boy by his wrists and pull him from a mechanical swing before “swinging the child about three feet in the air over a retaining wall and then dropping the child to the floor,” the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

After the alleged incident, the boy couldn’t stand or put any weight on his left foot and leg.

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About noon the same day, surveillance video allegedly shows, according to the sheriff’s office, “the same victim was again in the mechanical swing when Menendez is seen on video striking the child in the head.”

Just over an hour later, Menendez was holding a 4-month-old child on her lap and feeding the newborn when, video allegedly shows, she “forcefully grabbed and yanked the victim’s right leg and slapped the child several times,” officials said.

The next day, the 1-year-old child’s mother noticed her son seemed to be in pain and took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fracture to his tibia and fibula, police said. Two weeks later, medical staff at the University of South Florida’s Child Protection Team examined the toddler and filed a report stating the injuries appeared consistent with physical abuse.

Authorities arrested Menendez Sept. 28, and she now faces child abuse charges. Her colleague at the daycare, Milagros Rodriguez, 52, was allegedly in the room at the time of the incident and is charged with failure to report child abuse.

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