A Pennsylvania childcare worker has been arrested after being accused of physically abusing three toddlers under the age of 2, including placing one in a "headlock position," prosecutors say.
Victoria Aronson, a 36-year-old from Brookhaven, is now facing multiple counts of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and simple assault stemming from incidents that allegedly unfolded in late September, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office says.
"Parents place enormous trust in the people who care for their children, and when that is broken, it has lasting effects on families & the community," District Attorney Deb Ryan said in a statement. "The defendant’s callous treatment of three toddlers was abusive and criminal, and my office will seek justice for the victims."
Aronson, a worker at the Malvern School in West Chester, was responsible for watching over a class of children with ages ranging from 1 to 1.5, according to the attorney’s office.
The three children she is alleged to have abused were between the ages of 14 and 16 months, it added.
"In one instance, investigators were told, the defendant grabbed a victim who was crying by her upper arms and slammed her onto a wooden changing table, then held the child’s torso down with one arm while yelling and cursing at her," the attorney’s office said. "The defendant then grabbed another child and did the same thing before slamming both children onto the floor and yelling at them again. Witnesses heard the defendant scream that the children needed to stop crying and to "shut the f--- up.’"
An eyewitness also reported to police that "she observed the defendant hold one of the victims in a headlock position, causing the victim’s head to hit the door," prosecutors say.
One of the three victims reportedly was taken to a pediatrician with bruising and a cut under their eye, while the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department continues to investigate.