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Second daycare worker accused of throwing baby in Pine Lawn in custody

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PINE LAWN • The second of two workers accused of child abuse at a day-care facility is now in police custody.

The North St. Louis County Police Cooperative arrested Wilma Brown, 27, about 2 p.m. Friday in the 200 block of Mcalpine Drive in Glasgow Village. They found her hiding in a closet basement at about the ninth address officers checked, said Maj. Ron Martin.

Martin said he asked Brown why she didn't just turn herself in, and she told him she was planning to do so on Monday, but had to "get a few things in order first."

KTVI and the Post-Dispatch reported a Feb. 1 incident at the Brighter Day Care and Preschool in which Brown is seen on surveillance video throwing a 3-year-old girl across a room into a piece of furniture. The girl sustained a head injury that required medical care.

Martin said the Cooperative assembled a task force to search for Brown, which began checking addresses at 7 p.m. Thursday. They took only a three hour break to get sleep before making the arrest at 1:48 p.m., Martin said. 

"Even if that child was having a temper tantrum, that's no excuse for throwing it across a room like a bag of trash," Martin said. "My guys were bulldogs. They did a great job and they are very tired.

"They're parents, they have children, and when you watch that video, it's absolutely disgusting."

Brown was fired days after the incident when the director of the day care watched the video, said attorney Jennifer Hansen, who is representing the child’s family. Brown had previously filled out an injury report claiming the girl sustained the gash on her head when she fell.

Prosecutors filed charges against Brown and another worker, Ariana Silver, 22, on Thursday.

Brown is being held without bail, and the charge she is facing carries with it a sentence of between five and 15 years with no chance for probation, Martin said.

Silver's bail has been set at $50,000.

Silver has been charged with abuse for a Feb. 4 incident at the day care that injured a 4-year-old. That incident also was captured by surveillance cameras. The child suffered "puncture wounds" to her arm when Silver squeezed her arm and punctured the skin and carried the girl by her foot, according to court documents. 

North County Police Cooperative Assistant Chief Maj. Ron Martin said Brown trained Silver at the day care.

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Christine Byers is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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