“I had to tell myself, ‘Don’t watch this video anymore,’ because it’s hard to watch,” said Stephanie Kidd, the mother of a 1-year-old boy who was shown in a video dragged by the arm by Lori Bercegeay, the owner of Louisiana-based child care center for children with special needs, Special Angels Outreach, which is now under investigation.
According to Fox 12 Oregon, Kidd and her husband called St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office when a day care employee sent them a video of Bercegeay dragging Kidd’s son. “I couldn’t even breathe,” Kidd told reporters. Bercegeay said Kidd’s son was walking at first, but she guesses she was “going too fast or whatever” and he “went to his knees” and “he was whining.”
The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday that it had received compliant of a child allegedly being mishandled by a worker at the child care center and that the incident allegedly occurred on Jan. 13. Detectives then reviewed several videos taken from security cameras installed inside the center. They also spoke with employees and Bercegeay.
“After a thorough investigation, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office forwarded all findings to the Department of Children and Family Services and the Department of Education for further review,” the statement reads. “The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is also forwarding this matter to the St. Charles Parish District Attorney’s Office for further review. Due to juvenile involvement, and the fact that this incident is still under investigation, no further information will be released at this time.”
Kidd took to Facebook to share three videos that show her son with Bercegeay. Kidd wrote that her son fractured his foot due to “lack of eyes on the children” prior to the reported incident of Bercegeay dragging her son. Bercegeay, on the other hand, told NBC News that boy hurt his foot in the afternoon after falling out of a chair.
Since, Kidd’s Facebook post has received more than 900 shares and around 300 comments.
According to NBC News, the Department of Education found that Special Angels Outreach is not licensed to operate as a day care center. Instead, Bercegeay calls Special Angels Outreach an “activity center, ” one that opened in 2017. “There is no place for them to go,” Bercegeay said. “They can’t stay in school for before- and after-school care. Day care centers won’t take them.”
“I don’t want to close,” the owner added. “I don’t care about me. The center is for the special needs kids.”
Following the Facebook post going viral, Kidd wrote in another Facebook post: “I want to thank everyone because obviously I can’t thank each and every one of you! Our video went viral and I had hundreds of supportive messages. Someone I trusted with our children has betrayed us and many others.”