CRESTVIEW — A 58-year-old daycare manager was arrested on child abuse charges after repeatedly inflicting “nursemaid’s elbow” on a 2-year-old child, letting other children go unfed and slapping them on their heads.
According to the Crestview Police Department, in Nov. 2016 Kimberly Ann Fowler, the general manager of Learning Tree Day School in Crestview, called the mother of a 2-year-old boy under her care saying he was “holding his left arm and crying and she felt that he my have fallen and broken his wrist.” When the mother took her son to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, doctors told diagnosed him with a condition called nursemaid’s elbow and relocated his elbow.
The mother took the child back to the day care center and explained to staff, including Fowler, that they were to only pick her son up by holding him under his arms, and not pulling on his hand or arm.
One week later, Fowler called the mother and told her the injury had happened again. The mom drove to the day care and relocated her son’s elbow herself. Fowler told her she "was trying to get the victim to come inside the day school and advised that she didn’t pull his arm hard.”
On April 19, 2017, Fowler called once more to tell the mom her child had been injured again. Fowler said she hadn’t seen anything and was trying to contact the other worker who was with the victim.
However, according to Fowler’s arrest report, witnesses saw Fowler snatch a toy from the young child and throw it across the room. She then grabbed the boy’s arm, snatched it downward and pulled him into another classroom. She had apparently gotten angry at the boy because “he wasn’t listening to her.”
Other witnesses told authorities Fowler would often yell at the children to “shut up and sit down,” and if a child didn’t want their breakfast Fowler had made, she would let them go unfed. Witnesses had also seen Fowler slap children on the head, pull and snatch them by their arms and pick them up by their arms.
In September, Fowler denied ever hurting the 2-year-old boy and said other workers at the day school were just saying that to get her in trouble. She also denied ever having been told to not pick the child up by his arm.
Fowler was arrested Nov. 29 and charged with felony child abuse. She is being held at the Okaloosa County Jail.