- Ericka Sherai’ Jones. 27, and Serena Caldwell, 56, were accused of encouraging at least 14 minors to fight each other in Newberry County, South Carolina
- At least 14 minors aged between three and four were involved
Two daycare workers in South Carolina were arrested after being accused of running a horrifying ‘child fight ring,’ after their disturbing actions were caught on camera.
Its claimed that they were inciting minors aged between three and four to slap and hit each other.
Ericka Sherai’ Jones. 27, and Serena Caldwell, 56, were accused of encouraging at least 14 minors to fight each other at Kids Unlimited in Prosperity in Newberry County, South Carolina.
The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office arrested both teachers on Thursday on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and unlawful conduct toward a child.
The pair attended court for a bond hearing which they were granted on the condition they have no contact to the victims and any minors who may be in need of care.
The arrest came after a child at the daycare told a parent last month that they were asked to hit each other as punishment.
Security camera footage later revealed that Jones and Caldwell told at least 14 children to ‘slap, push, shove and hit other children at Kids Unlimited as a ‘means of punishment or to entice them to follow rules.’
They ‘encouraged and directed other students to fight or exhibit violence toward other students and allowed the violence to proceed without correction,’ Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster told WISTV.
‘What were you thinking?’ Foster asked incredulously when speaking about the incident.
‘I have no idea who would think that that was any way appropriate to encourage three and four-year-old children to participate in violent acts, regardless of what they thought it would do.’
The sheriff’s office has not yet released any footage related to the alleged misconducts of the daycare teachers.
Upon hearing from a concerned parent regarding the incident, the daycare promptly terminated both Jones and Caldwell and notified the police.
‘The two teachers being investigated for an incident at the daycare turned themselves in at the Newberry County Detention Center,’ Newberry County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
Caldwell faces 15 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and 15 counts of unlawful conduct toward a Child. Jones faces 14 counts of the same charges.
Caldwell, in addition, has been accused of hitting one child with a box of baby wipes, police added. Jones may have recorded the incident on her phone.
‘It was a situation where they were participating in it by encouraging the kids,’ Foster said.
‘They kind of looked at it as something maybe almost equivalent to a sporting event where they were kind of trying to motivate the kids into participating in that,’ he said.
‘We’ve had daycare workers that have assaulted children, and daycare workers that may have taken punishment a bit too far, but nothing like this,’ he said. ‘I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.’
He added that the daycare center did not have any complicity in the incident.
‘The daycare did exactly what the law says and maybe more, they went above board,’ he said.
‘When they found out about it, they didn’t intend to take care of this on their own.’
A judge granted Jones a $56,000 surety bond, and Caldwell a $60,000 surety bond Thursday afternoon.
They were released on conditions that include not contacting the victims in this case, not contacting any minors who may be in need of care, and not leaving the state before obtaining permission from the solicitor’s office.