APOPKA, Fla. - Police have charged an Apopka day care worker with child abuse after parents accused her of hitting a toddler under her care and trying to cover it up.
According to an Apopka police report, the little girl had a welt on the side of her face, and 34-year-old Jacqueline Clemente and her immediate boss claimed the little girl had an allergic reaction to mulch when her parents asked what happened.
However, police think the day care worker slapped the child with her hand causing scratching and breaking the skin, resulting in a black eye and swelling.
The woman worked at Park Avenue Child Care in Apopka, owned by Timothy Davis -- a former Orlando police officer acquitted in the shooting death of his son. A woman shouted from inside the day care that they had no comment when Local 6 went looking for answers from the owners.
What happened may have been caught on security cameras at the day care, but for now, it's Clemente's word against a child's.
Outraged parents say day care workers should know better.
"I probably would have went crazy," said Michael Haris, who lives near Clemente. "They watch kids. You've got responsibilities. You've got to handle them."
"I feel like she deserves to be put in jail," said Robin Williams, as she held her toddler. "No child deserves that."
Now, the Department of Children and Families is investigating the day care on two fronts; the incident itself, and to make sure there was no history of abuse. A DCF spokeswoman was not aware of any prior complaints against the day care.
Clemente, who bonded out of jail early Friday morning, will not be allowed to work at the day care.
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