Police investigating Ottawa Co. day care after assault complaints

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office says possible criminal investigations are underway and one staff member is on leave following three complaints at an Allendale day care facility.

Child Protective Services, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and Ottawa County Sheriff's Department are investigating three reports made in the past week involving four children under the age of one at Rainbow Child Care Center, 11272 Edgewater Dr in Allendale Township.

The sheriff's office says a 911 call was made on Feb. 19 after a 3-month-old boy was having difficulty breathing. The child was taken to the hospital and has since been released to his parents.

After that incident, authorities say they received two other complaints from parents who say their children, two siblings and another child, were assaulted by a staff member at the day care.  The sheriff's office said the children did not show signs of trauma or injury, but they are investigating the incidents.

Officials say the day care has placed a 22-year-old staff member accused of assault on administrative leave, while the investigation continues, and the other employee involved with the three-month-old is not working directly with children at the moment.

"The assault could mean a variety of things, but in this particular case it would be a minor assault with no injuries that was brought forward by the day care center to the parents," said Capt. Mark Bennett with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.

"The staff members that look to be involved in these incidents ... no longer have contact with the children at the day care center we’re told."

Rainbow Day Care Center officials released this statement to FOX 17:

"Last week, personnel at our Allendale center noticed a child with labored breathing. Staff immediately contacted emergency authorities and the child’s parents. We continue to work with the parents and the appropriate authorities as we investigate the cause of the incident.

We were also recently made aware of potential misconduct by an employee. We take any accusation extremely seriously, and immediately placed the individual on administrative leave and notified state authorities, as well as the families involved as soon as those names became available to us. We continue to work with the state during the investigation, and are conducting our own internal investigation."

The results of the investigations will be forwarded to the prosecutor's office for review. Officials from LARA and CPS could not comment on the investigations.

A search of the day care's history with LARA did not show any major violations. Records from September 2017 show some violations which include three classrooms not having an assigned lead caregiver and minor maintenance issues. All the issues were addressed in a corrective action plan that was approved by the department that month.

The sheriff's office is asking anyone with further information to call Silent Observer at 1-877-SILENT.

 

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