CBSN

Update: Day Care Debacle

Boy before bitten, Earlyshow
CBS
During the last week of January, the owner of a South Carolina day care center was arrested, accused of leaving 16 toddlers unattended for nearly an hour. During that time, police said, one 16-month-old boy was hurt when he was repeatedly bitten by another child.

The little boy, Alex Bull, appeared on The Early Show Thursday with his parents, Larry and Masha Bull. Also on hand was Jack Swerling, the attorney who is representing the day care center.

The injured child's father, Larry Bull, and Lexington County (S.C.) Sheriff Jimmy Metts were interviewed on The Early Show Jan. 31 in a satellite interview about the incident.

At the time, Bull said of his injured son: "He slept through the night and is starting to get his personality back. He's healing fast. He's scabbed over. [He's] on antibiotics and he's really responding well."

Bull said Bright Ideas day care center called him Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 28, and told him Alex had fallen off a bookcase and other kids had jumped on him — causing a little bump on his mouth.

He said he rushed to the day care center and found his son had more than 15 bites on his face, back, arms and hands and that his face was bloodied. Doctors told Bull the day care center's report wasn't consistent with injuries they had observed. Bull then reported the incident to the Sheriff's department.

Sheriff Metts said the investigation revealed that the toddlers' care worker went to lunch and told Angela Almeida, the owner/director of the center, to watch her kids.

"The day-care center operator also left the children inside the room," says Metts. "She went to run some errands and didn't tell anybody about it. When she came back, she found out that young Alex had been bitten."

"We found that he was found by a janitor at about 1:15, and it appears a lot of people missed the opportunity to call 911, and for an hour [Alex] was fighting for his life in there," said Bull. "They found him with his back against the door with other children on him."

The sheriff's office says the day care center knew that the child who bit Alex had a history of biting other children.

"There is a horrific case of neglect and abandonment here in this particular situation," said Metts.

Metts said the law requires one worker to supervise no more than six children, but the center had just one worker for 16 toddlers.

The authorities charged Almeida, the center's owner, with two counts of unlawful conduct toward a child by a legal custodian, a felony with a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison. Almeida told the court Jan. 29 she's never been in trouble with the law before.