STARKE, FL – According to police a woman picked up a pre-schooler by his neck and kicked him on the playground. It’s a cruel case of child abuse and the mother of the very young victim wants answers.
Police say 46-year-old Robyn Bryant was arrested Thursday and charged with cruelty toward a child which is a third-degree felony. She bonded out on $1,000 Friday.
The mother of the child, Brittany Williams says at first the boy didn’t want to talk. But he is slowly returning to normal. Williams lives in Starke and works in Gainesville. For the past 11 months she’s trusted the preschool with her child. She says all that changed on Wednesday when the alleged incident happened.
Williams says she received a call that changed everything.
“I was devastated. I was hurt because I trusted these people with my son,” Williams said.
She received a call from the Starke police telling her to rush to Bradford pre-school because her 4-year-old son was involved in a child abuse case.
“The child basically told the officer the same thing the complainant had told him. Went to do a well-being check and the officer noticed marks on the child that they were consistent with being picked up by the throat,” said Capt. Barry Warren of the Starke Police Department.
Officials say a day care employee saw the incident unfold. That employee stated Robyn Bryant picked up the 4-year-old by his neck and walked him to the playground. After dropping him to the ground police say Bryant kicked him.
“I’m holding back tears. It’s sad, it really is. It really is. I’m only doing this because I want other people to know so that this does not happen to anyone else’s child. Because I think about the ones that can’t talk. The ones that can’t tell you what happened,” Williams said.
Williams says the owner apologized on Thursday. Bryant was arrested and charged with cruelty toward a child. She hopes Bryant will never work with children again and thanks the employee who called police.
“I don’t know who she is but if I could just reach out to her and tell her thank you. Thank you so much because if it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t have known. She’s the one who called the police,” Williams said.