Nanny arrested, charged with child abuse
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (WSVN) -- A woman has been charged after she was caught on surveillance video hitting a 7-month-old baby.
A hidden surveillance camera caught 47-year-old Dawn Richards slapping a 7-month-old baby boy in the hand, then smacking his buttocks and legs before putting him face down on a pillow. "I'm really heart-broken," said the child's father, Hau Ho. "I had no idea this was happening."
The incident occurred at a Pembroke Pines home on 117th Avenue and Southwest 12th Street, on May 18.
The child's parents caught Richards' actions with a hidden nanny camera. The parents then turned the video over to police. Hau said that Richards has been with the family for over a year. "For her birthday, we give her presents, for Thanksgiving we took her to Red Lobster, we take her out to restaurants."
Police arrested Richards and charged her with child abuse. She has bonded out of jail on a $1,000 bond.
According to Richards, she said the baby was fussy and crying while she was dealing with a lot of stressful issues including financial problems.
Police said the family found Richards on www.care.com. 7News called the Massachusetts-based company for a statement.
Meanwhile, advocates of the nanny camera said that monitoring your nanny when you're away is best. "Anything that you can do is better," said Cindy Arenberg-Seltzer of Children's Services Council. "Some drop-ins, ask a trusted neighbor or a family to drop-in during the day. Just keep an eye on them."
Richards refused to speak to cameras.
Police believe she has been a nanny to other children. If you feel your child has been victimized by this woman, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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