Police in Florida are searching for a day care worker who investigators say fled after assaulting a baby boy in her care last week in an attack that was caught on camera.
Laquiesha Davis rushed to the Cuddle Kids Academy day care after receiving a call from authorities there on Thursday asking if she was aware of a scar on her 8-month-old son Jake’s face, she told ABC News.
“When I saw my son, I immediately knew that it was child abuse,” she said.
Jake was bleeding, his face was swollen, his eyes were bloodshot and his neck and head were bruised, she said.
Davis said workers at the day care said they were unsure of what happened to the baby, but she insisted on seeing the facility’s surveillance footage.
The video allegedly showed Erica Hall reaching into Jake’s crib and “mashing” his face several times, Davis said. Davis said the video also showed that the woman allegedly used her hand to strike the baby, causing his head to rock.
“He can’t talk, he can’t walk. What could he have possibly done to deserve this?” Davis told the Independent Florida Alligator.
Hall had fled the day care facility by the time Davis arrived. Officers with the Gainesville Police Department searched the area but was unable to find her, the Miami Herald reported.
"It's like a nightmare," Davis told ABC News. "We haven't been able to sleep. This girl is still out on the run and we won't be able to sleep until she is arrested."
Jake has not been the same since the incident, his mother said. The family is awaiting test results to show if he suffered any internal injuries, she said.
Davis is considering taking legal action against the day care, which she said waited two hours before contacting her about Jake’s injuries.
"There's absolutely no reason these people should have neglected my child in the way they did," she said.
Officials at the Cuddle Kids Academy day care said they are working with law enforcement to investigate the incident.
"We are deeply saddened by the recent incident that occurred at Cuddly Kids Academy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the impacted family," the day care said in a statement. "We will continue, as we have from the beginning, to work with the appropriate authorities and regulatory agencies in every way."
Hall is wanted on child abuse charges. Anyone with information is asked to call the police at 352-393-7658. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Alachua County Crime Stoppers at 352-372-7867.