The Missouri Attorney General has stepped in to investigate a day care where young children were apparently filmed being goaded to fight by two workers, who recently had criminal charges against them dropped.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said Wednesday that their office issued a civil investigative demand (comparable to a subpoena) to Adventure Learning Center in St. Louis. His announcement comes weeks after the St. Louis circuit attorney’s office dropped felony first-degree endangering the welfare of a child charges against two of the day care’s ex-employees, Tena N. Dailey, 22, and Mickala Guliford, 28. The pair were allegedly filmed encouraging 3- and 4-year-olds to fight.
Though the alleged incident occurred in 2016, the videos—which were 35 minutes long—didn’t go viral until last year. However, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that circuit prosecutors declined to try the case, citing insufficient evidence.
In the video, Dailey and Guliford are allegedly seen cheering on two young boys as they punch one another while wearing “Incredible Hulk” foam hands. The Post-Dispatch reported that the arranged fights left a 4-year-old boy with a black eye, marks, and facial swelling.
Schmitt stressed that their investigation is independent of circuit prosecutors’ case, mentioning that his office is launching an inquiry into possible violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, according to the news outlet.
“Children are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and any attempts to harm them in any way will not be tolerated,” the attorney general said in a statement. “My job is to protect all 6 million Missourians, and my office will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who seek to harm others.”
[Featured Image: KTVI video screengrab]