EXCLUSIVE: Day care closed by city after video shows worker allegedly assaulting toddler in Brooklyn

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The New York City Department of Health shut down a day care in Brooklyn after seeing Eyewitness News' exclusive video of a worker allegedly mistreating a child.

The worker is seen apparently shoving a toddler and then sitting on her.

EMBED More News Videos

Surveillance video

A spokesperson for the Department of Health tells Eyewitness News that they were on site Tuesday and found the facility did not have qualified teachers.

Because of that, and the ongoing investigation into the incident last week, the inspectors closed the day care. Parents were notified of the closure at pick up time Tuesday evening.

A letter from the center to parents read, "...as of now the school will be closed for additional employee/teacher training and review."

Meantime, Eyewitness News tried to catch up with the teacher seen on the video.

"Katie, what do you have to say about what happened, what about the video?" Eyewitness News Reporter Kemberly Richardson asked.

"No comment," said Ekaterina Silva, day care worker.

Ekaterina Silva had nothing to say about what she allegedly did inside Bambi Child Care Center in Crown Heights.

In exclusive video, Silva is seen trying to settle down 3-year-old Lauren Henry at nap time.

But authorities say the 35-year-old went way too far.

She's now charged, with among other things, assault and harassment.

Silva had plenty to say last week when Lauren's mother, Diasia Gillespie, asked her about the incident.

Gillespie recorded the face-to-face with her cell phone.

"I was holding her, but without like hurting her, and then she came down because she needs this pressure," Silva said in the recording.

The video shows Silva grabbing, shoving and pulling the toddler.

The first time Gillespie saw it she was shocked.

Lauren is her youngest daughter.

"She told me, 'I was crying for you mommy,' and I felt so bad, I was like I'm calling the cops," Gillespie said.

After seeing Eyewitness News' report, the Health Department is now investigating, and other agencies are also monitoring things.

Allison Reid owns the center, and told Eyewitness News that Silva was a temp and had only been working there a week.

Allison Reid, Owner, says "She claimed she was consoling her, but it was inappropriate," Reid said. "Police say it was assault, more than consoling, it was inappropriate."

But many parents Tuesday defended the center, saying Reid, for decades, has run a good program.

Janet's daughter went here.

"Sometimes you have one bad apple that spoils the bunch, it's just unfortunate," Janet said.

This isn't the first time Bambi Child Care Center has been shut down. It was temporarily closed in April 2017 for not having a group teacher or education director.
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.