A 33-year-old South Carolina mother was arrested after police said she posted a video on Facebook showing her pouring a bottle of water on her sleeping 9-month-old child. Caitlin Alyse Hardy was charged on January 31 with cruelty to children, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
Hardy posted the video showing her dumping the water on the baby while the girl was sleeping in a crib, the sheriff’s office said. She added a caption saying, “payback for waking me up all kinda times of da night,” along with a baby emoji and three emojis representing crying with laughter.
Hardy could not be reached for comment by Heavy and it is not clear if she has hired an attorney. The Dalzell, South Carolina, resident deleted her Facebook page and other social media after the video went viral on Sunday. She was then arrested after a police investigation.
Here’s what you need to know about Caitlin Alyse Hardy:
1. Hardy Poured the Water on the Infant’s Head Twice Causing the Baby to ‘Wake Up Coughing,’ the Sheriff’s Office Says
Caitlin Hardy is accused of pouring water on the infant’s head twice while the baby was sleeping, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. The baby was not seriously injured in the incident.
According to the arrest warrant obtained by the sheriff’s office, the incident occurred on January 26, 2019, at a home on Camden Highway in Sumter County. Investigators said Hardy, “did cause ill treatment, unnecessary pain and suffering and/or deprivation of necessary sustenance upon a female minor child (age 9 months). Hardy did pour a bottle of water on a 9-month-old female infant while the infant was sleeping. After being poured with water the second time, the infant woke up coughing. Hardy recorded the incident and posted it on her Facebook page.”
“The mother said she did it as a joke,” Captain Robert Burnish told BuzzFeed News.
The sheriff’s office obtained an arrest warrant on January 29 and arrested Hardy on the cruelty to children charge on January 30.
2. The Sheriff’s Office Began Investigating After the Video Was Posted on a Facebook Group Dedicated to Exposing Child Abuse
The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said they began investigating the video and the “apparent improper treatment of an infant” after seeing “disturbing images” on social media and receiving tips from “numerous concerned persons.” The video began to get viral attention after it was shared on the Facebook page “Where Is Baby Kate.”
The Facebook page focuses on bringing awareness to child abuse and exposing child abusers. It is dedicated to Kate Phillips, who was killed by her father in 2016 and whose body was never found. The Facebook page often posts videos and photos of alleged child abuse and has led to arrests of other accused abusers.
The sheriff’s office thanked the public for providing the tips that led to Hardy’s arrest.
On Facebook, the “Where Is Baby Kate” admins wrote, “We received a message from a concerned member yesterday about a woman posting a video of her pouring water on her baby’s face, this video was posted to where only people on her fb could see it. I asked the concerned member if she could take a video of it and they did it for me within seconds, as soon as the member got the video the ‘mom’ took it down.”
The admin added, “I cannot express enough how important it is to take videos and download pics of child abuse that are posted to FB. As soon as the poster knows people have an issue with what they posted they will take it down. These things are very important to have if we want to help these babies. I would also like to tell you ALL how appreciated you are. It takes ALL of us to help save these babies.”
3. Hardy, a Mother of 4 Who Was Cited in 2014 for Improperly Restraining Her Child While Driving, Faces 30 Days in Jail if Convicted of Cruelty
Caitlin Hardy, who used the name Alsye Hardy on Facebook, is the mother of four children, all daughters, including the 9-month-old infant, according to her now-deleted social media profiles. She faces up to 30 days in jail if convicted of the cruelty to children charge, which is a misdemeanor in South Carolina.
According to state court records, Hardy’s only previous run-ins with the law were traffic violations. She has been charged multiple times with speeding. Hardy was also charged in September 2014 with failure to properly restrain a child while driving.
4. She Was Released on $1,500 Bond & the Sheriff’s Office Says They Contacted the County Social Services Department to Investigate Further
Hardy was released on $1,500 personal recognizance bond after her arrest. She is scheduled to appear in Sumter County Court on February 13, 2019. She appeared in court for a bond hearing after her release, but did not enter a plea. She could not be reached for comment about the accusations against her.
According to the press release from the sheriff’s office, the Sumter County Department of Social Services was contacted “in order that thorough investigations be conducted into this matter for the benefit of all children in this home.”
Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said in a statement, “The charge against this defendant will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
5. The Video Sparked Outrage Among Members of the Community, but Some Have Defended Hardy on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page
The video sparked outrage among members of the Sumter County community and many posted about their anger on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.
Liz Welch Daughrity commented, “Who cares about her and her “being a good mom”?? It ain’t about her, it’s about this innocent baby who didn’t ask to be woken up by her mother pouring water on her face!! Then her laughing about it, that’s sick!! And all you people taking up for her is just as sick as her!!! ??”
Taylor Kirkland Powell wrote, “A good mom would never pour water on her sleeping baby to get some likes on Facebook. These people are sick.”
Tiffany Barrs added, “I understand that many people are saying that she is a good person & a great mother. The fact remains that what she did was extremely dangerous & could have had a horrible outcome. Was she intentionally trying to kill her child? No. BUT she put her baby in harms way just the same without thinking. An investigation will be done & if she’s as great as you say, then she doesn’t have as much to worry about. Let this be a learning experience on child safety.”
“And for those that won’t admit what was done in the video was dangerous… for those that think it was was funny… if you have children of your own, maybe she’s not the only one who needs to be under investigation. ??♀️ All I know is if I came across a video of someone doing this to my baby, I would NOT be laughing and it says a lot about who you are if after all of this you’re still sticking by that,” Barrs said.
Melanea Ennis wrote, “Thank you to everyone who reported her and to the Sheriffs office for taking this seriously!! This baby deserves better!”
But others defended Caitlin Hardy in their comments.
“How about all y’all mind your business..this has nothing to do with any of any of y’all..all yall commenting are supposed to be grown and yet y’all starting up drama and commotion like y’all are little children,” Nevaeh Hardy wrote. “like grow up fr.. I have nothing to do with what she does but this is my family and im back her matter what…seems to me none of you work for the police so stay in your own lane.”
Christine Thomas wrote, ” I hope all y’all have this same energy when you see Karen and Bobs kids from 15 south, walking around Wal mart barefooted. That girl made a stupid mistake. Dont doubt her love for her kids because of 20 seconds of video. She has kids older then some of yalls that she’s been taking care of with no problems.”
Elizabeth Tyler wrote, ” I find it hilarious that so many of y’all are speaking on what you DO NOT KNOW!! Those of us who personally know her, know that this wasn’t an act of abuse!! She loves her kids! Y’all just nosey as hell looking for something to gossip about!”