A daycare owner in Salt Lake, Utah, was arrested Monday after being accused of breaking an infant’s legs.
Elvira Ortega, 66, who runs an unlicensed daycare center, allegedly slammed a less than one-year-old child “down on the bathroom floor, feet first, fracturing both legs” on Feb. 23, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report, local news outlet KSL reported.
The infant’s mother dropped off her 10-month-old boy to Ortega’s daycare center in the morning of the alleged incident, the records show. When she returned to pick up her kid, she found that the boy showed signs of distress and physical pain.
The baby “did not want to sit, crawl, or move and only wanted to be held” on the following day. The concerned mother went back to confront Ortega and her daughter who runs the daycare facility and demanded an explanation for her son’s behavior.
After suspecting that both Ortega and her daughter’s “explanations were inconsistent and unsatisfactory,” the woman decided to get her son checked out by doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital.
After running a few tests, the doctors confirmed both the tibias, below the kid’s knees, were fractured — something which is not supposed to occur under any natural circumstances in an infant who has not even learned to walk yet.
Ortega was charged with child abuse, a second-degree felony, by the police after the arrest. During interrogation, the daycare center owner admitted she suffered “frustration” because the child “would not stop crying,” which is why she slammed the infant on the ground.
However, Ortega — who is an immigrant — did mention that she would rather be deported to Mexico than go to prison. The authorities did not comment on her immigration status, but said she was at flight risk, Fox 13 Now reported.
Nevertheless, Ortega was granted bail, set at $100,000.
According to Salt Lake Police Detective Greg Wilking, Ortega was responsible for a number of children at the daycare center. It is not known whether her daughter was at the facility when the alleged crime took place.
In a similar instance, 2 workers at Lil’ Daydreamers Child Development Center in North Carolina were accused of child abuse last month. Nekeisha Latwanna Walton, 39, was accused of picking up a male child and carrying him across the room, and in a separate instance, jerking a female child after violently grabbing her by the arm and pushing her over, Fox8 reported.
Mary Neal Winchester, 55, the second worker who was arrested, allegedly grabbed a female child and slung her against a cabinet before picking her up and dropping her on the floor.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services got involved in the investigation after the parents of a 13-year-old boy noticed scratches on his leg and filed a report against the daycare center.