Beaufort County childcare facility owner arrested for assault - WRBL

Beaufort County childcare facility owner arrested for assault

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WASHINGTON, N.C. - Police have arrested a man accused of striking a three-year-old child in the face.

Washington Police say they arrested 45-year-old Darwin Earl Woolard, the owner and operator of Kingdom Kids Academy, on April 30. Woolard’s arrest follows a complaint of an assault on a child at the facility located in Washington.

Woolard served on the Washington City Council between 2003 and 2007. He was charged with assault on a child under twelve and placed in the Beaufort County Detention Center. He's currently out on a $10,000 secured bond. Woolard’s court date is scheduled for May 20.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Kevin V. Howell, J.D. with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services made the following comment about Woolard's arrest, "Based on the pending charges, DHHS’s Division of Child Development and Early Education will disqualify Mr. Woolard from owning, operating or working in a child care facility."

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A child daycare center in Beaufort County didn't open Tuesday.

The Department of Health and Human Services shut down Kingdom Kids Academy in Washington on Monday night.
DHHS says the center's license is immediately suspended because conditions at the center present an unsafe environment for children. They say the welfare of the children is in danger so they shut it down.

According to a complaint filed on April 25th, a three-year-old was allegedly popped in the face twice by a provider at KKA. It also alleges that another child was pulled by the ear across the carpet. The complaints are currently under investigation.

The same facility has had four other neglect or inadequate supervision complaints since 2011.  However, all of those complaints were dismissed, except for one. In February 2013, a two-year-old walked across the street without anyone at KKA knowing about it.

Mikeasha Midgette enrolled her three-year-old twin boys in KKA in March. Midgette says she had a good experience until last week. On Friday, Midgette says the local Department of Social Services contacted her about an incident at the school. Midgette says  DSS showed her surveillance video where she says her boys were repeatedly hit by the owner of the facility. Midgette says the owner even hit one of boys with a shoe.

"I couldn't even continue to watch it.  I was in tears. It was very disturbing to me. This grown man beating my kids, torturing my kids, [and] basically abusing my kids. I'm very disturbed about the situation," said Midgette.

Midgette says the alleged incident happened on April 22nd. Midgette say she plans on seeking legal action against the facility and the owner.

Several other parents that 9 On Your Side spoke with said they liked the school and didn’t report any issues. The parents say the teachers at the KKA are good teachers who care about their children.

The director of the facility didn't want to comment on the matter. However, she acknowledged that parents were notified about the closure Monday after 5 pm. and added that the closure is just temporary.

The child care facility has a four out of five stars rating.

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