Police: Daycare worker arrested after infant's arm broken

Shannon Smith, 28, was arrested March 9 on a complaint of injury to a child. (Oklahoma County Jail)

A metro daycare worker has been arrested and accused of breaking an infant's arm.

The Oklahoma City Police Department confirms that Shannon Smith, 25, has been arrested on complaints of child abuse.

The arrest comes after a Feb. 20 incident at the Child Care Network, 14300 N. Western. A family member of a 5-month-old boy picked him up from the facility. The family member called the child's parent after noticing the boy was lethargic. The boy was then taken to a local hospital. The doctor did a full exam and then gave the boy's parents a prescription.

When the boy's mother took the child home she noticed bruising on his right arm while unclothing him for a bath. When she touched his arm, the child began screaming and crying and his mother noticed that the arm was limp. The mother then took the child to the emergency room.

Doctors at the emergency room reported that the child had two small fractures in his left forearm.

"There was enough evidence at the scene that led investigators to believe they have enough probable cause to place her under arrest for what she did," said Oklahoma City Police Msgt. Gary Knight.

Police then spoke with the child's primary teacher at the daycare, Smith. Smith told them that the child was never injured under her care but police noted she was very vague in her answers and didn't look them in the face. Court records show that police reviewed surveillance video from the daycare. The video allegedly shows the young boy with full use of both of his arms holding a toy. Smith then pulls the boy from a bouncy seat forcefully to her by grabbing his right arm only, police say. Smith then allegedly moves the boy around her lap in a forceful manner while she attempts to feed him. The boy's left arm can then be seen hanging limp.

"When you see somebody so defenseless, such as a child that's just a few months old, obviously that shocks your conscience," Knight said.

Smith was arrested by police on March 9 and released March 10 from the Oklahoma County Jail. Dana Ramsey, Chief Operating Officer of the Childcare Network, tells FOX 25 that Smith was fired immediately following the incident.

"We are very protective of the safety and well being of our children and are saddened to know that a member of our staff would ever handle a child in a rough manner. Early investigations indicate that this teacher attempted to pull the child up from a bouncy seat toward her by one arm. This is not a safe or appropriate way of lifting a child and resulted in a fracture." Ramsey said in a statement.

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