Day care worker accused of striking, slapping toddlers in her care



MIAMI BEACH — A Miami Beach day care worker is accused of striking and slapping four young children in her care, reports CBS Miami.

Clara Quintero-Gonzalez, 54, a teacher at Lincoln-Marti child care center, is facing charges of aggravated child abuse, child abuse and child neglect, the station reports.

A judge set her bond Friday at $25,000.

The investigation launched last week when parent Pantano said she picked up her 4-year-old daughter last week and said she saw Quintero-Gonzalez, over surveillance video, slapping a 3-year-old boy after grabbing him on the shoulders and shaking him.

“She hit him four times and then on his hands and by seeing that at that moment I had no doubts and I went upstairs and I started fighting with her, a verbal fight,” Pantano told the station. “And I accused her and I told her I was calling the police right then.”

After reviewing surveillance video, detectives say the saw Quintero-Gonzalez slap and hit a 3-year-old, and in another incident, she allegedly was seen striking a 2-year-old in the face with her right elbow, and then hitting the child with her hand.

In a fourth incident, police say, Quintero-Gonzalez was allegedly seen on video hitting a 2-year-old with a closed right fist on the right arm.

“Listen, this is a serious allegation,” the woman’s defense attorney Jordan Rebird told the station. “There is a lot of emotions at stake when allegations deal with young children it pulls at your heartstrings no matter what side you’re on. At this time, we’re gonna prepare and hopefully get her out before this long weekend.”

Quintero-Gonzalez is originally from Cuba. If she bonds out of jail, she will reportedly be placed under house arrest with a GPS ankle monitor. A judge also ordered her to turn over her Cuban passport and stay away from children under 12.