ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The disturbing cell phone video was enough to close a daycare and get a worker arrested for how she treated babies. KRQE News 13 obtained police lapel video of what the co-worker who took that cell phone video had to say.
Eastern Child Development Center released this statement on Wednesday:
We are very concerned that CYFD’s decision to close our center while they investigate could discourage other centers from reporting situations like what we discovered at our center. Rest assured, we stand by our decision and would not do anything differently. The safety of our children has always been – and will continue to be – our FIRST priority.
It is heartbreaking that our nearly 300 children are left to find alternative care, and 33 staff are left without work. Our center operates 16-18 hours per day, 6 days per week. Our families are not able to find facilities in this area that offer the same services. We can’t help but feel that some of our children’s safety is now at risk due to the situation. Thankfully, the person we fired and reported will not be able to harm any other children.
CYFD is still conducting interviews of our parents and staff. We support their investigation fully, to ensure the safety of our children, and hope they will be concluding soon. Any updates as to when our center will re-open will be made available as soon as we get word. Thank you all for your support and understanding during this difficult time.
KRQE News 13 wants to warn viewers, some of the video obtained from police is disturbing.
Cell phone video shows the worker yanking, and shaking babies in a violent manner. It shows daycare worker, Ariadnys Armas-Camacho, 40, roughly handling babies last month at the Eastern Child Development Center near San Mateo and Gibson.
Video shows her toss a blanket over a six-month-old and violently shake her.
“She’s done it to other children too,” Armas-Camacho’s co-worker told police.
“I was just in that room for two weeks and started noticing something was wrong,” the woman said. KRQE News 13 chose not to identify the worker who took the cell phone video, since she’s cooperating with a police investigation.
“She wanted them to sleep,” the co-worker told an officer, referring to Armas-Camacho’s interaction with the babies.
Lapel video shows the worker tell an officer she didn’t think anyone would believe her, since Armas-Camacho has worked there seven years and was trusted by employees. “I was scared,” the woman who took the cell phone video said.
Her video sparked the Children Youth and Families Department to shut down the facility.
The daycare’s director told officers, “I’ve never had a complaint. I’ve never written her up, she’s had both of my younger kids.”
That part worries parents.”She was always by herself because it’s a 6-1 ratio with the babies,” one mother told officers.
Workers at the daycare said Armas-Camacho mostly worked alone during her seven year career there. Co-workers also added, since their surveillance video is grainy, Armas-Camacho wasn’t really monitored.
The mother of the baby abused in the video said she confronted Armas-Camacho before she was fired. “She said, ‘It was just one day, I couldn’t handle her that one day.'”
However, video from another day shows Armas-Camacho also yank a baby up from his leg.
“It’s a hard thing to take because she’s had all our babies,” the daycare director told police.
On top of video where they can see the abuse, workers now wonder what Armas-Camacho did with their kids that no one will ever see.
“She did mean a lot to people, this is shocking for all of us to see, you know because it makes you wonder,” the director added. “You think about your own kids, like they were in there with her forever.”
According to what daycare workers told police, not only was their surveillance video bad quality, it also deletes after a few days, so there’s no way to go back in time to see what else may have happened in the baby room.
The mother of the baby who was shaken in the video told officers her baby is OK, but doctors said there may be developmental problems in the long run they’ll have to look out for.
That Eastern Child Development Center is still closed while CYFD continues their investigation.
Viewer discretion is advised for the full cell phone video.
The video is so disturbing, KRQE News 13 made the decision to not air that video again as part of our routine coverage of this ongoing story.