NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – An employee of a North Augusta child care center has been arrested on suspicion of child cruelty in connection with an incident earlier this month.
Teacher Susan Harrison, 53, of Aiken, was arrested this week, according to Aiken County Detention Center records.
The incident happened Dec. 7 at Busy Bee’s Childcare and Preschool, 401, W. Martintown Road, according to a report from the North Augusta Department of Public Safety.
Latasha Mealing, 40, of North Augusta, told officers she arrived at the facility around 4 p.m. Dec. 7 to pick up her son. Harrison told her she needed to retrieve her son because he was fighting other children, according to authorities.
Mealing noticed a knot on his head and a fresh laceration on his right side neck/shoulder area.
Mealing spoke to Principal Chasity Williams, who said she was not aware of any injuries or fights between the children, according to a North Augusta Department of Public Safety report.
Williams opened an investigation and told officers she reported the incident to social services authorities.
An officer spoke to the boy, who said “Ms. Susan” put her hands on him and that it hurt, according to the North Augusta Department of Public Safety report. The officer took photos that included a small, scabbed-over laceration on the boy’s right neck and shoulder area.
The boy’s mother said he was in tears the morning after the incident.
On Dec. 9 in a follow-up interview, Harrison was asked for her version of events.
She told an officer that she saw the boy getting into an altercation with another student on the playground and that she held his hand and guided him into the building for a cool-down period, the officer wrote in a report.
The officer wrote that Harrison said the boy was “throwing a fit” but did walk with her.
Harrison said that once in the building and in the hall, the boy was still acting up and jumped up at her, according to the officer’s report.
According to Harrison, she threw up her arm to create a barrier between herself and the boy but there was no contact between the two. Harrison said the boy then lost his footing and tripped over a row of book bags in the hallway.
She stated that after falling, he got back up and started yelling at her again in an aggressive manner, at which point she told the boy’s mother to come pick him up.
In an earlier statement to Williams, Harrison had also written that he had no scratches or marks on him after she’d brought him inside.
On Dec. 10, a warrant was requested in North Augusta Municipal Court for cruelty to children.
Harrison was arrested Tuesday, according to Aiken County Detention Center records.
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