Day Care Worker Allegedly 'Forces' Toddler To Take a Nap, Leaving Him With Serious Injuries

Gladys LaRosa
Local 10

A daycare worker from Margate, Florida, has been arrested a year after allegedly forcing a toddler in her care to take a nap. According to the Miami Herald, Gladys LaRosa was working at Learning City Academy in May 2018 when an 18-month-old boy refused to settle down and fall asleep. The caregiver is said to have then turned violent, allegedly picking the boy up and placing him face-down on a cot, causing him to hit his head and suffer a nasty cut to his face.

  • The assault allegedly happened around 1 p.m., after the toddler refused to stop playing to take a nap.

    The Miami Herald reports the other children had been napping for 30 minutes by this point, but the boy wanted to play with toys and was making noise as the other kids slept.

    It was at this point LaRosa told police that she decided to "get him and turn him over and tell him to go to sleep so that other kids wouldn’t wake up." She also later told the school's director that she was patting the boy's back to get him settle in, which is when he hit his head on the cot.

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  • But surveillance footage later showed that LaRosa had been forceful when she set the boy down.

    When the director of the day care checked video taken of the classroom, it showed an irritated LaRosa pushing the boy before she picked him up and pushed him face down on the cot. It was then that the toddler's face hit the plastic section of the cot, ripping off a swath of skin from his face. The toddler didn't get up again after the injury.

    Reports show LaRosa didn't even notice the injury until about 2:30 p.m. when she was changing the boy's diaper and saw the wound. But at no point did LaRosa call for help -- instead, the day care worker cleaned the injury with water and paper towels before going to the boy's cubby and attempting to clean the sheets from his cot with bleach.

    The director told police that they were only notified that there was something wrong with the boy an hour later, around 3:30 p.m.

  • LaRosa was arrested at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport over the weekend, more than a year after the incident.

    It's unclear why it took so long for authorities to take action against LaRosa, but the court is certainly taking the matter seriously. The Sun Sentinel reports that LaRosa's bond was set at $1,000 at her bond hearing on Saturday, along with a provision that she no longer be allowed to work with children.

    LaRosa was charged with aggravated child abuse, according to the Miami Herald.

crime child abuse child care