EAST ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island day care center accused of abandoning a 2-year-old girl on a beach earlier this week has had its license suspended and revoked.
Police said little Alexia Zambrotta was left behind in Heckscher State Park in East Islip after a field trip with Our Little Darlings Early Educational Center, of Bay Shore, on Tuesday afternoon.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports
Police first became aware of the stranded child around 3:30 p.m. The day care called police three hours later to ask if anyone had found the girl.
The state’s Office of Children & Family Services launched an investigation after learning about the alleged abandonment.
The agency determined that the center was putting the “health, safety, and welfare” of the children in “imminent danger,” spokeswoman Pat Cantiello said in an e-mail Thursday.
The suspension, which went into effect immediately, bars the center from providing any form of licensed day care services. The center has 10 days to request a hearing to contest the suspension and 30 days to contest the revocation.
Specific violations will be listed in a few days after the agency completes its investigation.
Parks police have also opened a criminal investigation to consider child endangerment charges.
Zambrotta was smiling and safe on Thursday night, and for that her mother, Christina Karimi, shed tears of relief.
“I have some type of angel watching over her for some reason…that brought her home to me,” Karimi told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Karimi said she didn’t even know her daughter was missing until she got a call from police.
“I didn’t even let them speak. I said how do you lose a child for three hours and not notify the mother? When I asked her what happened? All I got was I’m sorrys. That’s the only answers I got,” Karimi said.
Karimi said she’s waiting on the outcome of the investigations before considering a lawsuit.
“It’s not about prosecution. It’s not about pressing charges. It’s not about arrests. It’s about the welfare of a child,” Karimi told CBS 2’s Sanchez
“There was an egregious fault in leaving a child who wasn’t 3 at the beach unaccounted for. What we don’t know is how she’s going to recover from this,” added Jacqueline Sabin, the family’s attorney.
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