NORTH YARMOUTH — A day-care center worker was arrested May 23 on felony charges of assault and endangering the welfare of a 6-month-old boy.
Caring Place Child Care employee Meggan Loker, 24, of Pierce Street, Westbrook, was arrested after police investigated the alleged assault, which was reported May 15 by another employee of the child-care center. Loker had been working at the center since September, according to the center’s director, Elizabeth Leo. Leo said no prior complaints had been received about Loker’s performance.
Leo said the events surrounding the alleged assault are “very unclear,” and that no one can really pinpoint what happened. Leo said that staff members had noticed that Loker was having a hard time feeding the 6-month-old boy, and was getting frustrated.
Later in the day, a staff member noticed “what looked like bruises on (the infant’s) chest,” and immediately reported it to Leo. Loker had been the only employee caring for the boy, and was immediately fired, Leo said. The incident was reported to police, who began an investigation that ended with Loker’s arrest at her home.
The Department of Health and Human Services has also been notified, according to police.
“The (child’s) parents took it very well, as best as they could,” Leo said. The family has been a client of the day care for about two years, she said, “and is very happy with our center and very thankful with the way we handled (the situation). They brought their kids back the next day.”
Leo added that other parents have also taken the incident in stride and have been supportive of the day-care center.
“Its been awful,” Leo said, but people have been very understanding and so far no families have left.
Loker has been released from the Cumberland County Jail on $5,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear in court on July 15.
This story was updated on May 27, 2009.
Sarah Trent can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.