A Pennsylvania daycare worker was caught on camera pushing a 4-year-old girl down stairs, Upper Darby Police say.
Sarah Gable, 52, was arrested last week and the video was made public Monday, the Delaware County Daily Times reports.
The incident occurred at Childcare of the Future in Primos. Gable, of Folcroft, has been fired by the daycare. The girl returned to the day care on Monday and was not seriously injured.
“This was a horrific act, a betrayal of trust,” Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said at a press conference. “We entrust out children with certified people who are supposed to care for our children as if they were their own.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Gable Was Seen ‘Struggling’ With the Girl Before Pushing Her ‘Down a Flight of 5 or 6 Steps,’ Police Say
Police said Sarah Gable was seen “struggling” with the 4-year-old girl before pushing her down the stairs. The brief video, recorded by a surveillance video, shows Gable behind the girl before the girl flies down the stairs.
“I have no idea why,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said at a press conference. “But the video shows her pushing a 4-year-old little girl down a flight of five or six steps.”
The girl was checked on and complained of knee pain, but “did not appear to have any outward signs of injury.”
Shawayne Tavares, a manager at Childcare of the Future, told NBC Philadelphia she watched as Gable shoved the girl and then confronted the employee.
“I was so upset. I had tears in my eyes,” Tavares told the news station. “She picked up the shoe and tried to come to the end of the stairs like, ‘Oh, it was her shoe’ that caused her to fall. I’m like, ‘It’s not her shoe, I just watched you on camera do it.'”
2. The Camera, Which Gable Looks Right Into, Was Installed About a Half Hour Before the Incident
Police said the video shows Gable looking into the camera after the push. She then takes the girl by the hand and helps her down another set of stairs.
“After the child fell, Gable was observed grabbing her and continuing on,” police said in an affidavit obtained by the Delco Times.
Workers at the daycare told NBC Philadelphia the surveillance camera had been installed only about a half-hour before the incident occurred.
Police responded after receiving a complaint from the daycare manager and took Gable into custody at the scene.
“I think it’s every parent’s worst nightmare that sends their kid to daycare,” Chitwood told CBS News.
3. She Is Facing Charges Including Assault, Harassment & Endangering a Child
Gable was charged with simple assault, harassment and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Upper Darby Police Department.
She was released from custody after posting $25,000 bail, WPVI-TV reports.
Gable is scheduled to appear in court on March 16 before Magisterial District Judge Kelly A. Micozzie-Aguirre.
4. She Started Working at the Daycare in June & Has Been in the Childcare Business for 25 Years
Gable began working at the daycare in June, the Delaware County Daily Times reports.
She has about 25 years of experience in the childcare industry, CBS Philadelphia reports. It is not clear where she worked before she was hired by Childcare of the Future.
“My little guy, she would greet him with a hug. So I always thought she was one of the best teachers,” parent Ronnie Siekor told CBS Philly. “For us to hear this is very disheartening.”
5. The Girl Was ‘Scared to Death’ & Afraid of the Stairs After Returning to Daycare
The girl returned to the daycare on Monday, the Delaware County Daily Times reports.
Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood told the newspaper the 4-year-old was “cared to death” by the incident.
“It still hurts me, just seeing the video. When I saw it air I was just like wow. It still hurts,” Childcare of the Future manager Shawayne Tavares told CBS Philadelphia. “The little girl was just really shaken up. Her eyes were literally like ‘help me.'”
Tavares said the girl “was a little scared of the steps” when she returned to the daycare Monday.