Police: Caregiver caught on tape assaulting infant

Mariam Rabon Owens (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Mariam Rabon Owens (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

AYNOR, SC (WMBF) An employee at an Aynor day care is facing cruelty to children charges after police say she was caught on tape assaulting an infant in her care with a chair.

An incident report attained from Horry County Police says the guardian of a young child that attends Salem Baptist Church Day Care in Aynor discovered that the child had been assaulted by one of the teachers on the morning of Thursday, March 29.

The incident in question was recorded on the video surveillance cameras placed in the rooms of the day care center, the director of the business reported to police.

Responding officers watched the footage of the incident and noticed that victim had a disagreement with another child and struck that child in the leg with a chair, at which time the suspect supervising the children took the plastic chair from the victim, pulled him toward her and struck the victim in the face with the chair.

The director of the day care says she was told that the child struck in the leg by the victim had gotten in trouble for the incident and the mother of that child had asked to see the video on Tuesday.

When the director watched the video and witnessed the assault, she stated that she called the suspect into her office to watch the video with her. The suspect was then sent home, and the director contacted a committee, the church pastor, and the day care licensing board about the incident.

The guardian of the victim was notified of the incident Wednesday morning and contacted police.

The suspect, 58-year-old Mariam Rabon Owens of Aynor, was arrested Thursday morning and charged with cruelty to children.

The report states that Owens has been an employee at Salem Baptist Church Day Care for 25 years, and was written up twice for two separate spanking incidents. The director said in the report that the school has a 'no spanking' policy.

Regarding the assault, Owens said she wasn't taking enough medication for her anxiety, and after the victim hit the other child with the plastic chair, asked him if he knew what it felt like to be hit with a chair. She says she didn't believe that chair hit him, but just pushed the plastic chair toward his face.

Owens remains in custody at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center. No bail has been set.

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