JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey daycare worker is charged with breaking the leg of a baby in her care.
Heather McDonald, a worker at the Academy of Learning in Jersey City, was arrested Wednesday. Prosecutors said the 19-year-old cracked the tibia of the 4-month-old boy on Aug. 6.
McDonald is charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse for failing to get the infant any medical treatment.
But the owner of the day care — who wanted to remain anonymous — told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang that the allegations are all lies.
“I don’t think she’s going to be found guilty. I don’t think so. Not the person I know Heather is,” the owner said, pointing to McDonald’s clean background checks and certificates of training in child care and development.
The owner also said the mom brought the infant back once that week, said there was a problem, but that she didn’t seek medical attention until days later, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.
She said McDonald, who is in charge of the infant nursery, is a stellar worker.
Anthony Dennison, who went to high school with McDonald, said he trusts her with his 2-year-old’s life.
“She’s a good girl. She’s been taking care of her for two years, so I don’t believe anything I hear,” Dennison said.
Prosecutors have not revealed many details, but said McDonald used her hand to crack the baby’s leg.
Five days passed before the infant’s mother took him to the hospital, leading McDonald’s supporters to draw their own conclusions.
“Maybe something happened at home,” day care customer Reina Martinez said. “A cover up, that’s what I think.”
“I don’t know what evidence they have or had to charge her,” the day care owner said. “If I was the police I’d be looking at the mom first.”
Prosecutors stressed they’re not looking at the mom and they don’t plan on dropping any charges against McDonald.
Late Friday afternoon, the state and city inspected the day care and sources told CBS 2’s Sloan they found it overcrowded with kids, toys and furniture, and authorities are asking the day care owner to correct the problem.
McDonald is out on a $50,000 bond.
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