Inverness day care worker accused of child abuse

Posted at 12:13 PM, Apr 15, 2016

An Inverness day care worker is accused of abusing a child she supervised.

Mary Lou McKnight, 52, of Brooksville, is now facing child abuse charges.

She is being held on $2,000 bond.

Allegations of physical abuse to a student surfaced three weeks ago, Citrus County deputies say.

Deputies began investigating the allegations.

McKnight was a teacher at Today's Child Day Care located at 116 N. Trout Street in Inverness.

According to an adult witness, McKnight grabbed a 3-year-old boy by the neck and shoulders and forcefully pulling him backwards.

An arrest affidavit states the boy had red marks on his neck and back and suffered from bruising for several days.

The little boy had been making noise at the time but nothing to justify what McKnight did, the witness told deputies.

The little boy had attended the day care for about one year and had only been under the McKnight's supervision for the past month.

McKnight was immediately terminated.

During a recorded phone call between the boy's mom and McKnight, deputies say McKnight admitted to grabbing the boy's t-shirt and explained when she realized she grabbed his neck, she immediately let go and made sure he was OK.

She was apparently trying to stop him from waking up other children.

Deputies say they questioned McKnight who reportedly told them at the time of the incident she was supervising 12 children and trying to get the to nap.

McKnight reportedly apologized for the child's injuries.

ABC Action News will update this story as more information becomes available.