Henderson daycare worker caught on camera tossing child arrested - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Henderson daycare worker caught on camera tossing child arrested

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Aleana Estepp (Source: HPD) Aleana Estepp (Source: HPD)
A daycare worker was arrested after a video showed her tossing a child. (Source: Nina Pitts) A daycare worker was arrested after a video showed her tossing a child. (Source: Nina Pitts)

Henderson police said they arrested a 20-year-old daycare worker after she was caught on camera grabbing and tossing a 5-year-old child under her care. 

Aleana Estepp was arrested on a felony child abuse charge Monday morning, the department said. 

The mother of the child, Nina Pitts, said she picked her child up from K.I.D.S. Academy in Henderson on Aug. 10 and found out her child bit her tongue. It wasn't until they got home that her daughter told her the "teacher had thrown her." The next day, Pitts asked the staff at the academy to see the surveillance video. 

"You can see in the video that she walked back with aggression, and went back and stomped and just slammed her on the ground, and that's not what you do to anybody. Let alone a five-year-old," Pitts said. 

According to the arrest report for Estepp, on the day of the incident, she told police that she was over capacity for her room with 19 students, when she was only supposed to have 13 students. Estepp said by the end of the day there were 24 students in her classroom and she was the only adult in the classroom when the incident occurred. 

Estepp said she assigned the students to different play stations in the classroom. At one point, another student complained that the 5-year-old was kicking her, so she asked her to stop. The student complained that the 5-year-old child kicked her again so Estepp "tried to remove her from the situation," but she went back to the board and kicked it again. 

Estepp told police she recalled being "angry" because the 5-year-old child wasn't listening so she went over and "pulled her" but lost her grip which caused the child to slide across the carpet. "I guess I removed her a little too hard," Estepp told police as she continued to describe how the child landed on her "front side."

Estepp said she attended to the child's injuries, which she initially described as "a little sliver on her tongue" then said it was just a sore and notified the assistant director of the daycare. 

The 5-year-old child and her sisters were described by Estepp as the "problem children" at the school, according to the report. Estepp said when the 5-year-old child gets angry her body becomes limp and it is difficult to move her. She said she never intended to harm the child. 

Staff told Pitts that Estepp was fired after the incident. The owner of the daycare, Crystal Blessing, said she was devastated to see the video and will use it to train staff on what not to do. 

Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact Henderson police at 702-267-4911. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555. 

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