Former daycare employee arrested, charged for biting toddler in Laurel
JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A woman is behind bars in Jones County after being accused of biting a toddler while in her care at a Laurel daycare center in December.
According to the Jones County Sheriff’s Department, Haley Rozek, 26, was arrested Monday and has been charged with felony child abuse.
The sheriff’s department says, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, Deputy Priscilla Pitts spoke with the mother of the toddler at the sheriff’s office, where she told the deputy that she took her son to the Kids Company on the morning of Monday, Dec. 5.
The mother told Pitts that she noticed marks on her son’s arm later that night, which led Pitts to tell the mother to take a video and photos of the toddler’s arm and send them to her.
On Tuesday, Dec. 6, it was determined by the mother that the marks came from an adult bite from an employee at the daycare center after speaking with the owner about what she discovered.
JCSD says Pitts spoke with the daycare director, Heather Holifield, on Monday, Dec. 5. Holifield told the deputy that Rozek came to the daycare around 11 a.m., and around 8 p.m. that night, the mother of the toddler messaged her with pictures and video of the bite mark.
Holifield said on Tuesday, Dec. 6, she got a message from the mother to tell her that she found another mark on the child. Holifield told the mother that a worker was in the room the child was in and was relieved by Rozek.
Both Rozek and the other worker denied biting the toddler after Holifield brought the incident up to them, but later that day, Rozek admitted to Holifield that she did bit the child’s arm.
According to JCSD, Rozek told Holifield that she was holding the toddler, trying to calm him down, and blew on his arm. The child then pulled away from Rozek, and she bit him. Holifield told Rozek that since she confessed, they did not have to watch the surveillance footage.
JCSD says Sgt. J.D. Carter notified Pitts that a copy of the security camera footage and a statement from Holifield were needed after she spoke with Rozek.
Holifield did send copies of Rozek’s statement and the report she filled out, to Pitts, according to JCSD.
Holifield contacted Pitts later that day, telling the deputy she found the time frame of when the child would’ve been bitten but the camera did not show it happening because of the lighting.
The sheriff’s department says Pitts was able to get the video recorded on a thumb drive.
On Monday, Dec. 16, the mother later told Pitts that she spoke with Holifield to find out that Rozek had filed for unemployment after Holifield was contacted by the unemployment office.
Pitts tried to reach out to Holifiled but did not talk to her until Thursday, Dec. 19. On that day, Holifield told the deputy that she spoke with someone from the unemployment office, and they told her that Rozek told the unemployment office that she was fired because she accidentally bit a child.
Holifield said she did not have any paperwork at that time, since she was told that information over the phone.
Rozek is currently booked at the Jones County Adult Detention Center where she is waiting for her initial appearance in court.
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