A daycare worker has been arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery after video showed her restraining a young boy in her charge while her own 4-year-old daughter hit him, the Miami Herald reports.
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Martha Balmaseda Marrero, 31, was fired over the Mar. 1 incident at St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church’s daycare center in Key Largo, Fla., which was reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families. It has since become a criminal matter as the 7-year-old boy’s mother is pressing charges.
Balmaseda Marrero, who was released on $5,000 bond after her arrest last Friday morning, was shown speaking to the two children before holding the boy’s arms behind his back as the girl — later identified as her own daughter — struck him.
But her arrest report includes a statement from Balmaseda Marrero insisting that she was simply trying to teach her daughter some self-defense techniques.
“So, I told this girl to defense (sic) herself,” she wrote. “I hold the kid just to protect the girl, never with the intention of the boy to get hurt.”
The report from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office noted that the boy did not sustain any serious injuries.
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