A Montana man barred from having contact with his children now faces criminal charges for attacking a daycare worker who refused to hand over his kids, authorities said.
Martha McClure, the owner of Martha’s Mini Day Care in a small town in western Montana, was repeatedly bashed in the face with fists and a snow shovel when she refused to let the father pick up his three small children, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Francis Joseph Jackson, 31, is charged with aggravated burglary for the brutal attack and is being held on $100,000 bail in Washington state, where he was arrested for the October 7 assault, authorities said, according to the Associated Press.
McClure was minding Jackson’s children, all under the age of four, when Jackson showed up drunk, she told sheriff’s deputies. His paternal rights had been revoked by the Salish and Kootenai Tribal Child Protective Services and he was to have no contact with his kids, McClure told authorities.
The father appeared angry and threatened to hit McClure if she didn’t surrender his children, authorities said. She was able to get him outside, but he began throwing things, including a tricycle, at the day care’s window.
She went back outside and struggled with Jackson, who beat her in the face. A female who was with him bashed McClure in the face with a snow shovel.
A gofundme account has been created to help with McClure’s medical costs. A graphic photo of her battered and bruised face is posted on the site.
"She not only is a loving, caring and very supportive mother but loves every child that is in her care as one of her own," read one post on the account.
"You are an amazing woman!!! A true hero indeed!" read another.
Charges are pending against the shovel-wielding woman, who has not been identified by authorities.
Jackson is expected to be extradited to Montana later this week, authorities said.