Daycare worker accused of kicking toddler

PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – A Florida daycare worker has been accused of intentionally kicking a toddler while the child was napping.

Deputies say the 15-month-old girl was dropped off by her mother to Kids Stop and Play Daycare in Holiday on Saturday morning under the care of 49-year-old Linda Klem, of Tarpon Springs.

The girl’s mother told police she dropped her daughter off around 6 a.m. free of injuries, and when she picked her up around 12:45 p.m. she had an abrasion under her eye and on the side of her face.

Police reviewed surveillance video showing Klem intentionally kicking the girl on the top of her head and dragging her foot over the left side of the child’s face while she was sleeping. The girl woke up and started crying. About ten minutes later, the girl fell back asleep, and again, Klem comes up and forcefully kicks the girl on the buttocks.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco says the video is heartbreaking to watch.

“The mother did what was right. She was adamant that something had occurred. She went back to the location from there she went to the hospital,” said Nocco.

Klem denied kicking the child in the head and had no explanation for kicking her backside.

Rhonda Sweatland owns the daycare and says she never suspected Klem of having any problems with children.

“She’s worked here with me for four years and I never would have expected anything like this out of her and neither, I’ve talked to all my staff, I have 16 staff members and none of them would have expected it either,” said Sweatland

She’s been charged with child abuse and released on $5,000 bond.

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