JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The owner of a day care center in Northwest Jacksonville not only fired one of her employees but called police and the Florida Department of Children and Families after reviewing what she described as disturbing surveillance video.
Sandrine Mangalindan, 23, of Jacksonville was charged with one count of child abuse after being arrested at the day care center near Moncrief Road.
According to her arrest report, Mangalindan was an employee at the day care center who was accused of being rough with several children and verbally abusive toward children while using profane language.
The owner of the day care center, who asked not to be identified, told News4JAX she was away from the center but always reviews surveillance video of everything that goes on inside. She said one particular recording she reviewed made her so sick to her stomach that she immediately called the police, DCF and the child abuse hotline.
“I did see a teacher placing her hands on a child’s bottom, popping him, and then roughly laying the child down for a nap. And that is something we are not supposed to do,” the owner said.
According to the arrest report, Mangalindan was seen on video holding the child’s face down onto a cot and then releasing the toddler. The report states that a minute later, Mangalindan was seen picking the toddler up and then forcing the child down so hard that the toddler bounced. Moments later, the toddler tried to crawl off the cot and that’s when, according to police, Mangalindan got frustrated and forcefully yanked the toddler’s leg.
Mangalindan was not only arrested after police saw the video but was fired from her job. The owner said roughly handling small children will never be tolerated at her day care center.
“Initially, I was very upset and brought to tears because even though parents bring their children here for care, these are our kids. I feel like these children are mine once they come through the door into my care. So I really felt someone was doing something harmful to my kids and that made me very upset and irate,” the owner said.
According to the arrest report, Mangalindan told the police she was attempting to get the toddler to go to sleep and that she is not allowed to “baby” the children at the day care center. She then told police she would not hit the toddler or any child at the center because she has a child that attended the same day care center.
An officer noted in the report that there were no external signs of injury to the child but Mangalindan’s intentional actions which were recorded on video could reasonably result in physical or mental injury to the child. As a result, she was arrested and charged with third-degree felony child abuse.
The owner said she believes in transparency which is why she notified the parents of all the children that attend her day care center to let them know why Mangalindan was reported and arrested. She said many of the parents were so upset that they threatened to stop bringing their children to the center. The owner said she had to reassure the parents that maintaining their child’s safety is her No. 1 concern. She also advises all parents to do their homework when it comes to choosing a day care center for a child.
“If you are taking a child to a facility, make sure they have video recording cameras that are actually working. If the owner or the director will allow you to see them monitoring the cameras, you will be able to confirm the cameras are recording because even though cameras are in place, you still want to be able to know that someone is monitoring them,” the owner said.
Mangalindan’s next court date is scheduled for July 20. She is currently out of jail on bond.