A Venice, Florida daycare worker was arrested last week after surveillance footage was seen by a parent.
According to Fox 13, on January 29, authorities were notified by the parent who first saw the footage, which showed the worker “aggressively” handling three children who were under her care.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office told Fox 13 that the daycare worker, later identified as 26-year-old Jamie Smithmyer, was employed by Manasota Beach Daycare and Preschool.
The surveillance footage shows Smithmyer dragging multiple toddler-aged children by their arms and pushing them to the ground.
A spokesperson for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Kaitlyn Perez, told Fox 13 that the recorded video was difficult to watch:
“It’s very difficult to watch. I think anyone who watches it would agree that this woman no business working in a daycare facility. We were first notified on Tuesday of this week that kind of a good Samaritan, a parent who goes to this daycare noticed some behavior through a closed-circuit television.”
Perez continued by sending a warning to parents who are choosing where to send their children to daycare:
“There’s an important message here for parents about really vetting your daycare facility and vetting the people that work there.”
Thankfully, as authorities report, none of the children seen in the video suffered any major injuries as a result of the abuse.
As Fox 13 reports, after being confronted by her employer regarding her behavior, Smithmyer reportedly said that “she knew what she did was wrong and did it because she was stressed and overwhelmed.”
And while the owner of Manasota Beach Daycare and Preschool has yet to comment on the actions of their former employee, Smithmyer was “immediately fired.”
The 26-year-old has since been charged with three counts of child abuse without great bodily harm. She has since been released from the Sarasota County jail on a $2,000 bond.