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Day care worker charged with neglect after 8-month-old suffered injuries while in her care

Catherine Junior

MILWAUKEE -- A 62-year-old Milwaukee woman is charged with neglecting a child after an 8-month-old boy suffered injuries while in her care at Harvest Learning Center, a Milwaukee day care facility. The accused is Catherine Junior.

According to the criminal complaint, police began investigating Junior after an 8-month-old boy was brought to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. The complaint indicates the child, who is now 9 months old, suffered significant injuries, including "swelling under his scalp and a bite mark on his right arm." The doctor who checked out the child indicated the "injuries were highly concerning for intentional inflicted injury and diagnostic for lack of supervision."

 

The mother of the child, Rahzeena Hamilton, told police "she got a text message from the owner" of the day care requesting that she come and pick up the 8-month-old because "he got bit by something and had an allergic reaction." When Hamilton arrived at the center, she indicated the child had "scratches from his shoulders to the middle of his chest, bruising in his ears, hair missing off of the side of his head and his head appeared 'deformed,'" the complaint says.

A Milwaukee police detective assigned to this case interviewed multiple people -- including a 6-year-old child. That child stated a bigger child "pulled the baby's hair and dropped the baby." The 6-year-old also said the "big kid stomped on the baby." The child said the bigger kid did this "because he was mad because the teacher told him to put the toys away," the complaint indicates.

Harvest Learning Center day care in Milwaukee

Harvest Learning Center

The complaint says Junior was not in the center at the time of the alleged attack on the 8-month-old boy. She apparently went out to a day care van to grab a diaper bag -- and "then talked with the driver about CPR training" and other issues for about five minutes. During that time, all five children inside the day care were unsupervised, the complaint says.

According to the complaint, Junior told police "she was the only teacher" to open the day care -- and the five children were the only children to arrive there. Junior indicated to police that "none of the other children disclosed what happened to (the 8-month-old)" inside the day care when she was outside.

Hamilton said Monday, July 16 she's glad Junior is being held accountable for her alleged actions leading to injuries suffered by baby Judale Malone.

Judale Malone

"I feel a lot better. My baby is finally getting justice at the end of the day. Something so precious -- I just don't understand. I just don't," said Hamilton.

A witness claimed the "big kid" in this case was an 11-year-old boy.

"I want to know who is this 11-year-old boy? To now know he did it out of spite -- it's a problem. He should be in trouble. He should be in a detention center somewhere. He is old enough to know right or wrong. I really feel like my son is traumatized," said Hamilton.

Hamilton said she's hired an attorney and is looking for more answers.

Meanwhile, Junior made her initial appearance in court on Saturday, July 14. She is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday, July 20.