JERSEY CITY - Parents are demanding answers following Tuesday's arrest of a Jersey City day care provider charged with child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
Ann Bactawar, 26, was taken into custody over allegations she abused children in her care at the Sunnyside Academy. The parents say they are shocked by the allegations and had never heard of any similar incidents in the past.
After hearing that Bactawar's criminal record shows she has been arrested twice for aggravated assault, many parents told News 12 New Jersey they wondered how Bactawar was hired for a job working with children. Some of those parents believe the administration at Sunnyside ignored those arrests because Bactawar has a relative in management.
A day care representative says the academy did a background check on Bactawar and was aware of her arrests.
Bactawar entered a plea of not guilty and is being held on $100,000 bail and has been ordered to stay away from the alleged victims, their families and anyone else under the age of 18.
A judge in Hudson County Court says that on one occasion, Bactawar grabbed and threw a child to the floor and caused bleeding to the victim's lip. The mother of that victim said she was called and told her toddler son had fallen and bit his lip.
There is surveillance footage that may assist in the case. Police say the video shows Bactawar grabbing, throwing and slapping two different children. The Hudson County Prosecutor's Office says the alleged victims were 17 and 18 months old.
Nathan Lupo, the father of one of the two alleged victims says his son will not be returning to Sunnyside.
The suspect's father says his daughter's apparent actions were accidental and that she loves kids.