Two former daycare workers have been arrested after video footage showed them repeatedly abusing young children in their care.
The Argus Leader is reporting that Teresa Gallagher, 31, and Kenedi Wendt, 22, were both indicted on 25 counts of abuse or cruelty to a minor on Friday.
The former employees of Little Blessings Learning Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, were arrested after footage showed them slamming children on the ground, yanking them violently by their arms, and stomping on their heads during nap time.
All the children being physically abused in the video were between the ages of 3 and 4.
Investigations of the alleged abuse at the daycare center started in February after a young child told his parents that one of the women banged his head on a mat while he was sleeping.
The parents immediately reported the incident to the Department of Social Services who in turn contacted the daycare. There was an internal investigation into the matter which resulted in Wendt and Gallagher losing their jobs.
In early March, video footage from the Sioux Falls day care center, dated from February 14 to February 23, surfaced.
WLTX is reporting that the harrowing video showed Wendt and Gallagher repeatedly abusing the young children during nap time.
Police spokesman Sam Clemens, who also saw the video, revealed that the slightest movement from a child could result in the child being thrown several feet in the air, body slammed on the sleep mat, or stomped on by the women who were meant to be watching them.
Clemens said he was shocked by what he saw and baffled by whatever rationale the women had for physically abusing the young children.
“The video was pretty clear, but it was tough to figure out why this took place. All of it seemed to be happening really just kind of because.”
Clemens told WFMY News that a few parents had also grown suspicious of Wendt and Gallagher after their children complained about not looking forward to sleep time.
The former daycare workers are penciled for a court appearance Tuesday and are being held on a $25,000 bond.
This is not the first incident to be recorded at a daycare center. Elvira Ortega, an unlicensed daycare owner, admitted to police that she broke the legs of a 1-month-old baby after slamming the child on the bathroom floor, per a report from Fox 13.