crime

A daycare worker accused of beating an 8-month-old child on Thursday is in custody as of Tuesday, according to Gainesville Police.

Erica Hall, 37, is accused of beating the child at Cuddly Kids Academy, located on the 1020 block of Southeast 4th Avenue, according to a GPD press release. Police said Hall left the daycare while they were watching the surveillance video. 

According to police, on Tuesday Hall turned herself in.  She is charged with abuse of a child, according to court records.

Laqueisha Davis, the child’s mother, told The Alligator her son’s right eye is bloodshot and he has bruising under his eyes and across his face. She is removing her son from enrollment at the daycare and plans on taking legal action against Hall and the Academy’s director. Cuddly Kids Academy declined to comment.

Davis said she received a call from the daycare after 3 p.m. Thursday saying her son got into a minor accident. She had been taking her son to the daycare for the past three months and didn’t suspect physical abuse prior.

Davis said she was skeptical of what happened due to the bruising on her son’s face and asked the daycare workers to see the surveillance footage.

When she said staff wouldn’t immediately let her view the footage, Davis called 911. She said the footage showed Hall repeatedly hitting her son on a diaper changing table.

“He can’t talk, he can’t walk,” Davis said. ‘What could he have possibly done to deserve this?”

Hall is being held in the Alachua County Jail on a $10,000 bond, according to court records.

Dana Cassidy is an 19-year-old UF journalism sophomore and crime reporter at The Independent Florida Alligator. Outside of writing she loves fitness, film analysis, Mad Men, bad reality TV and excessive amounts of coffee.