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Harford County Day Care Employee Charged With Assaulting 3-Year-Old Girl

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Linh Bui joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2013 as a reporter/weekend...
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FOREST HILL, Md. (WJZ) — Shocking arrest. A Harford County day care worker is charged with child abuse–accused of assaulting a little girl in front of other small children.

Linh Bui has the latest on the investigation.

The alleged assault happened Dec. 30. Both the school and authorities acted quickly. The teacher was arrested this week.

From a classroom to a jail cell, a Harford County day care teacher is arrested for assaulting a 3-year-old child.

“It just breaks my heart to hear that about a child,” said Jeanette Bassford.

It happened at the Celebree Learning Center on Rock Spring Road in Forest Hill.

Charging documents state Kaitlin Marie Krause, 24, told her supervisors she accidentally scratched the child, but video cameras captured a violent confrontation.

According to charging documents, Krause forced the child into a chair, grabbed the victim’s face, gouging it with her fingernail, then pushed the child out of the chair and onto the floor.

After reviewing the video, the school fired Krause, then contacted the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, who made the arrest.

“What actually has occurred was between a 3-year-old, who may not have the ability to effectively communicate a message, and a suspect, who denies that anything happened. So the video footage is fairly telling,” said Eddie Hopkins, Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

Krause is charged with second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault and neglect.

A Celebree spokesperson says this incident is not the norm and they do extensive criminal background checks.

“Which cleared her of any previous child abuse allegations, child neglect, lack of child supervision. So, she had none of these things present in her background before she was allowed to be in a Celebree classroom,” said Lisa Henkel, Celebree Learning Centers.

She says safety is their top priority.

“This is not acceptable to us. We won’t tolerate this type of behavior in our centers,” Henkel said.

The victim is reportedly doing OK.

Krause has been released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

The investigation is now being handled by the State’s Attorney’s Office and Child Protective Services.

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