PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - A Pinellas County daycare owner was arrested for child abuse after deputies say she hit a two-year-old several times with his own shoes.
It happened on Oct. 3 at about 2:30 p.m. at Itsy Bitsy Kids World in unincorporated Largo.
Detectives started an investigation after the 2-year-old's mother noticed three large red marks on the child's left and right thighs.
Neighbors who live near the in-home daycare were shocked to learn about the allegations.
"I would take my kid to the doctor first of all and find out what happened. I'm sure a doctor can determine what's the reason for the bruises," said neighbor Laura Smith.
The mother tried to ask for information from the daycare, but was only told the victim "fell."
According to detectives the victim was in the care of 59-year-old Colleen Williams Days at the time of the incident.
They learned from medical staff that the child suffered two large bruises on his right thigh and three large bruises on his left thigh, which were consistent with child abuse.
The detectives were told in the course of the investigation that Days often hits kids with her hand or shoe for punishment.
"I've seen a lot of toys out there, bicycles, toys, but not kids," added Smith.
On Friday, Days was interviewed at Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, where she admitted to hitting the child several times with his own shoes, causing the injuries. She said she did it because he wouldn't put his shoes on when asked.
She was arrested and charged with child abuse, and the daycare has been suspended pending an investigation.