Teen babysitters charged with child endangerment for frightening toddler with a taser just to watch her scream in fear
In the footage, one of the teen babysitters pretended to tase the toddler, who is believed to be a year old, and the child can be seen screaming in fear.
Babysitters in the US seem to have gone off the deep end with many cases being reported recently of child endangerment or manslaughter. According to reports, three teenage babysitters have been accused of distressing a baby girl, whom they had in their charge, with a Taser in videos that were uploaded to Snapchat. The authorities in Conway, Arkansas, have said that the three girls were arrested for child endangerment on July 9 in connection to the video that was uploaded.
In the said clip, one of the teen babysitters pretended to tase the toddler, who is believed to be a year old, and the child can be seen screaming in fear. The teens seemed to be enjoying the child's distress. "In the video, you can see and hear the electric prongs on the Taser lighting up," Officer Brittani A. Little wrote in the report. One of the teens then "walks to the end of the bed and stretches her arm out and zaps the Taser two more times in the child's direction," police said. In another video, one of the teens is shown hitting the back of the baby's head with the video being captioned: “She’s a bully but I’m dying”.
Elyssia Watkins, the baby's mother, told news station KXXV that she is extremely disturbed by the horrifying footage showing her child crying in terror while the teens just seem to find it amusing. She said: “I couldn’t even stay at work today. I just keep thinking about it. Why do they think it’s a laughing matter?” The babysitters, who are reported to be 15 to 17-years-old, appeared in the Faulkner County Court on July 10 with child endangerment charges slapped against them. Watkins finally said: “They do need to go to jail, but I hope someone really talks to them and they get some counseling."
In another incident, a babysitter from Florida has been sentenced to only a year in prison after the infant boy she was watching, died. 28-year-old Jessica Amster pleaded guilty on July 6 to the charges of aggravated battery with bodily harm in connection with the death of 5-month-old Christian Bent. According to the police, the infant's parents had picked him up from Amster's home in Boynton Beach where he was being looked after in 2015. The parents then realized that the baby was not responding so they immediately rushed him to the Delray Medical Center. The infant was pronounced brain dead four days after he was admitted into the hospital. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Amster told Dwayne Bent, the infant's father, only a day before she violently shook the baby, that he had a nosebleed. The babysitter allegedly said: "I don't want you to think I did anything to him."
The arrest report stated that Amster was babysitting a few children at the time the incident occurred and this included the infant's sister as well. The other children who had witnessed the incident said that Amster was "shaking" and "swinging" the infant and had ordered him to stop crying. CBS 12 reported that one child had been cited in the arrest report says that "Auntie Jessica" swung the infant around so much that he bumped his head "really hard" on the wall.
Amster then told the police that she had gone to check on the infant at around 3 p.m. and found him lying in his own urine. She then reportedly tried waking him up but he "didn't really wake up". She told the authorities that she had then tried administering CPR. The police report from Boynton Beach, however, said that the babysitter did not call 911 at the time and did not ask for help to treat the babies injuries because she was afraid that she would be blamed. This was in spite of her telling the investigators that she should have probably taken the infant to the hospital.
Bent and the infant's mother, Pamela Siscoe, took the baby to Bethesda Memorial Hospital initially but then the infant was transferred to the Delray Medical Center because of how serious his injuries were. According to the autopsy report that came from the Palm Beach Medical Examiner's Office, the baby had a few substantial injuries such as brain swelling, a skull fracture and many cuts, bruises and bite marks. The cause of death was declared as blunt force trauma and the examiner said that he believed it was a homicide.
The babysitter was arrested in August 2016 and she had initially been charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and culpable negligence. This could have given her a 15-year sentence behind bars. Prosecutors have dropped the unrelated drug charges after a plea deal was arranged by her attorneys. Amster's plea deal conditions mean she can never contact the infant's family or babysit for others ever again.
In a similar situation involving yet another babysitter, an 8-month-old baby girl was killed after almost seven pounds of blankets and pillows were put on her. Melissa Garcia-Rivera was sentenced on March 26, 2018, to five years behind bars after she admitted to killing Maisy Lane Hummer in her home in Bentonville, Arkansas, in October last year. She had told the authorities that she put the infant to bed and had laid two pillows on top of her while she lay on her stomach. When she went back into the room to check on the child an hour later, she wasn't breathing and was declared dead by the time she reached the Mercy Medical Center. Garcia-Rivera, who is a mother of one, said that she had been frustrated by the infant but that she never intended to harm her.
Garcia-Rivera is an undocumented migrant and she admitted to the manslaughter charges. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette woman is probably going to be deported after she completes her sentence. The infant's mother, Melissa McCraw-Hummer, publicly forgave the babysitter after she admitted to killing the child. The devastated mother said: "I would like to talk to you now. In the early days after her death, I questioned everything. I wondered what awful parent would allow their child to be watched by someone who could do something like this."
"I questioned every decision I made as a parent and whether I even deserved to be Maisy’s mom. You may think that this will be the time when I condemn you. Declare my hatred for you. Threaten you. But I don’t want to do that. You don’t need to hear any condemnation from me. It would only hurt both of us more. What I want you to know is that I forgive you."
The speech had many in tears and Garcia-Rivera said: "I'm sorry. I am terribly sorry."