South Carolina

1-year-old had cut and bruises after daycare worker repeatedly hit him, SC cops say

Lauren Paige Grasel was charged with unlawful neglect of a child.
Lauren Paige Grasel was charged with unlawful neglect of a child. Anderson County Detention Center

A woman who worked at a South Carolina daycare center was arrested on charges that she abused a boy she was watching, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to an arrest warrant, there is surveillance footage of Lauren Paige Grasel beating a 1-year-old boy under her care at Kidzone Learning Center, WYFF reported.

The Sheriff’s Office said on July 11, the 25-year-old “hit the boy on the back of his head with her hand, knocking him to the ground,” according to WSPA.

Arrest warrants say Grasel also slapped the toddler in his face and on his mouth “multiple times with an open hand,” which caused a laceration and swelling, per WYFF.

Grasel was charged with unlawful neglect of child last Thursday, after the little boy’s mother reported the abuse, WHNS reported.

When she appeared in court, Grasel passed out and required medical treatment before a judge set her bond at $10,000, according to the TV station.

There is no word on her condition, or the health of the toddler.

Kidzone is in Piedmont and got an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The daycare opened in 2001 and its president is Anne Grasel.

She identified herself as Lauren Grasel’s mother when she disputed the Sheriff’s Office report of the abuse, according to WHNS.

“The extent of the mishandling and injuries to the child stated by the parent’s lawyer was completely false,” said Anne Grasel, adding Lauren Grasel was fired, the TV station reported.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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