Video: Day care worker strikes 5-year-old girl with Down syndrome

A local dad is furious after a daycare worker struck his little girl. The incident was recorded on the girl’s tablet. (Source: WOIO)
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 12:55 PM EDT
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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – A local dad is furious after a day care worker struck his little girl. The incident was recorded on the girl’s tablet.

In the video, it shows his daughter, Leslie Ogletree, using a toy as a pretend phone. The worker walks up and strikes Leslie four times on her chest.

“I don’t even hit my daughter, what is this lady hitting my daughter like she’s a grown-up, especially working at a day care,” Leslie Ogletree said. He and daughter share the same name.

While Leslie has health issues, she is still a bright and busy little girl. They call her baby doll.

“She didn’t do nothing in that video, she has Down syndrome, she done had heart surgery before, other surgeries, for you to hit her, that’s really unacceptable,” dad said.

Leslie attends Triple J’s Childcare and Learning Center in East Cleveland on Euclid Avenue. The incident happened March 16. Leslie’s tablet recorded it. She showed mom and dad the video a few days later.

“I’m pretty sure it happened there before,” dad said.

He filed a police report that same weekend. Ogletree says a day care administrator told him the worker would be fired that following Monday.

Now in April, he just recently tried picking up his daughter, but the day care informed him only mom was now authorized to pick up Leslie because of the incident he reported.

“They call it allegations, these ain’t no allegations, these are facts, it’s a video. My daughter recorded you,” he said.

19 News went to the day care Wednesday, April 19. The employee did not let us in, but talked to us from the inside. She said the incident was old and claims the worker was let go.

“She was fired... a month ago.”

We also checked state inspection reports. An 18-page document from January showed unsanitary conditions in the toddler’s room. This includes no liquid soap, no toilet paper, and a strong urine odor in the bathroom. It goes on to say, it was determined at least one childcare staff member had not yet completed the required health and safety training. However, records show those violations were corrected in March.

“I am not so much trying to speak down on the day care, but my daughter didn’t deserve this,” dad said.

19 News contacted East Cleveland police. They confirm the assault. We were directed to speak to the assistant law director.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services also confirmed the day care did self-report the incident. They too have been informed the staff member in question was immediately terminated.