Day care fight recorded, investigation launched

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - Montgomery County Sheriff's officials and state regulators launched investigation after a video tape surfaced showing a 4-year-old being pummeled by a classmate at a Lake Conroe area day care.

The mother of the 4year old spoke with Local 2 Investigates on the condition we not disclose her identity.

"I was emotional, I started crying and its not right, he's a little boy. He's 4 years old," the mother said. "He's tiny and he should have been helped."

The mother found out about the incident at the Children's Universe of Lake Conroe day care after receiving a call from officials at the Department of Family and Protective Services; which licenses and regulates day cares. Officials with DFPS confirmed they have launched an investigation into the incident.

After receiving that call the mother then called the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office to file a report. She said a deputy investigating the case obtained a copy of the video and described to her what was recorded.

"My son was put in a headlock, there was shoving, kicking, fighting, the little boy was trying to bite my son in the arm," the mother said.

This mother said she was also told it appeared no one tried to stop the fight, but seemed to encourage the melee. She said she was also angry she learned of the fight and the recording from state regulators and not day care administrators.

"I was in shock and wondering why nobody at the day care had notified me prior to this, apparently the video had been taken awhile back. Nobody knows exactly when the video was taken," the mother said.

The owner of the day care told Local 2 she had no idea this fight happened or was recorded until the video was sent to school administrators, along with threatening text messages from what is believed to be a recently terminated employee. Owner Brooke Leax said as soon as she learned of the video she contacted state regulators and asked for an investigation.

Leax would not disclose the exact nature of the threats sent with the video. Leax said the teacher suspected of sending the video worked at the day care for about a year and was fired last week for an unrelated incident of not properly supervising children. Leax said the teacher ripped posters and pictures off the wall of her classrooms as she was leaving the building.

In a statement to Local 2, Leax wrote, "Upon receiving this video message Friday afternoon, from a terminated employee, we immediately turned it over to the proper authorities and initiated this investigation. Our number one priority is to protect the safety and well-fare (sic) of our students. These actions are in complete violation of our policy and procedures and will under no circumstances be tolerated. We will continue to cooperate fully with this investigation and see that the person responsible is held accountable to the highest extent of the law."

The mother of the 4-year-old said she is still baffled as to how something like this could happen at a day care and no one know about it until a disgruntled ex-employee sent in the video.

"When he needed somebody to help him and sit there and protect him, they were exploiting him," the mother said. "I paid them to take care of my baby and not have him in a toddler 'fight club.'"

Leax said they have not yet determined who exactly made the recording.

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