Parents demand answers after 1-year-old leaves day care covered in bite marks

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MARICOPA, Ariz. – Two Phoenix-area parents say a child bit their daughter eight times while at Sunrise Preschools in Maricopa, KGUN reports.

Rocio Enriquez says when her husband Rylee Umsted went to pick up their 1-year-old daughter Mila from day care, they found the bite marks all over her back.

“She was shaking and I knew she didn’t want to be there,” Umsted said.

They say it happened about twenty minutes before they picked her up, and they aren’t happy with the day care’s explanation.

“She told me there were three children in the classroom including my daughter,” Enriquez said. “A teacher was changing a diaper … when another child went on top of her and started biting her.”

“One bite mark that you look at you’d be like, she’d be screaming bloody murder. So I want to know if someone heard a scream, where was management?” Enriquez added.

They say they were told the incident happened in about 30 seconds.

“I can’t believe it until I see it,” Enriquez said.

They say the incident was captured on surveillance video. The parents say Sunrise Preschools isn’t letting them look at it.

“We don’t know what to think because we don’t know the true answer,” Umsted said. “But there’s a video out there that tells the truth.”

They’re asking to see the video and calling for changes to be made at the facility, so what happened to their child doesn’t happen to another.

“Sunrise should’ve either had two teachers in that room or they need different training,” Umsted said.

Sunrise Preschools issued the following statement:

“We are deeply concerned about the incident that occurred at the Sunrise Preschools Maricopa location. The safety of our children is our number one priority. Sunrise Preschools immediately provided care and assistance to the injured child. We are in contact with parents of both children involved. We are cooperating with the proper authorities and are unable to provide additional details at this time.”

Hours later, Dana Vela, the president of Sunrise Preschools, issued another statement saying that the caregiver who was watching the children has been suspended without pay pending further investigation.

For the full statement from President Vela, read below:

“We are truly sorry for an incident that occurred at our new center in Maricopa. Sunrise Preschools considers safety of the children in our care job one. It is our first priority. It is why we have been privileged to provide child care for more than three decades. On Thursday April 25th a toddler was bitten multiple times by another toddler during a very short timeframe. This should not have happened. Only four children were under the supervision of the caregiver watching the children. That caregiver has been suspended without pay pending further investigation.

This incident was heartbreaking and unacceptable and we are working diligently to ensure it does not happen again. We are reviewing all policies and procedures and will take whatever steps are needed to prevent this rare but serious matter from repeating itself. A video of the incident confirms the child was injured by another child very quickly and while the caregiver was changing a diaper. This is not meant to excuse the incident but to explain what happened. We can and will do better and this unfortunate matter has provided some hard learned lessons. After the child was injured first aid was administered, and the parents of the injured child were informed. The child who bit the classmate was expelled. While there is established protocol to address occasional biting behavior common to many toddlers, the severity of the incident demanded a more appropriate response.

Sunrise is following internal policies and procedures as well as licensing regulations and employment law requirements throughout the investigative process. But we are also determined to do more. We are reviewing our procedures. We are studying what happened. Additional steps are being evaluated to do everything possible to keep this from happening again. We apologize again and profusely when we fail because the trust you place in us is understood and appreciated which is why Sunrise has the outstanding reputation it has for decades in Arizona.

We are welcoming both questions and input from the community. If you have questions, concerns, or input please email me at info@sunrisepreschools.com.

Our mission is to educate as well as care for children. In this instance Sunrise will use this unfortunate incident as a way to further educate ourselves with input from our parents and the community.

Thank you,

Dana Vela President Sunrise Preschools”

Maricopa police told KGUN that they are investigating.

Trademark and Copyright 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News