Las Vegas toddler needed surgery after ‘violent’ incident involving ex-daycare employee: police

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An ex-employee at a Las Vegas daycare center is facing a charge of child abuse after a “violent” incident caused a child to need mouth surgery, according to a report from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

The incident

On Sept. 5 at around 4 p.m., the mother of the victim arrived at the Crème de la Crème daycare located on Farm Road. When she picked up her two-year-old son, she saw that his mouth was injured and there was blood on his upper lip, which his teacher was wiping off, the report stated.

The teacher, identified as Karina Castillo, told the mother that the victim was standing on a toy crib and fell.

<em>Karina Castillo is accused of child abuse while she was working at a Las Vegas daycare. (LVMPD)</em>
Karina Castillo is accused of child abuse while she was working at a Las Vegas daycare. (LVMPD)

“They didn’t call you?” the mother told police Castillo asked her.

The next morning, the mother saw that her son’s tooth was “pushed up into his gums.” The mother immediately took him to the dentist for an emergency appointment, according to the report.

The dentist said that the victim experienced a “trauma fall” and would need surgery to remove his two front teeth due to “infection and damage,” the report stated. The mother went back to the daycare to speak with the director, who said she already wrote up the teachers for “not paying attention to the children,” according to the report.

The investigation

On Sept. 8, the director showed the victim’s parents footage of the incident, which showed the victim standing on a baby doll crib while leaning forward over a single-shelf bookcase. The video showed Castillo walking toward the victim before “violently” pulling the bookshelf away from him, causing him to hit his face on the bookshelf and face plant on the floor, the report stated.

The director of the facility told police that Castillo filled an accident report related to the incident that said the victim was “standing on a crib and fell and bit his upper lip,” according to the report.

The director told police that she “believed the incident to be normal” because of “children falling and having accidents from time to time at the daycare,” the report stated. After the mother contacted the daycare, however, she reviewed the footage.

The director said that Castillo told her that she was attending to another student by the bathroom when the victim “fell.” The director told police that Castillo was terminated.

Previous incidents

The mother of the victim told police that her child was enrolled at the daycare since May 2023 and there were “multiple” incidents that she reported to daycare management, the report stated. She told police that she had concerns with how staff spoke to the children.

She also said her son was sent home with “soiled pants” and was bitten by other students, according to the report.

In July 2023, staff told the mother that her son tripped and fell and injured his lip. She said one of his teeth was gray in color, and a dentist said there was “trauma” to his tooth from the fall.

The arrest

On Oct. 12, detectives spoke with Castillo on the phone. She declined to say anything after her family members told her to get a lawyer. On Oct. 14, Castillo’s lawyer called police and agreed to have Castillo turn herself in 10 days later.

On Oct. 24, Castillo was taken into custody after she arrived at LVMPD headquarters with her attorney. She is facing a charge of child abuse/neglect.

She was released from custody with the bail condition to stay out of trouble, according to court records. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 28.

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