NewsRegion East Hillsborough


Daycare worker fired, charged with 3 counts of battery for pushing 3 toddlers to the ground

Posted at 6:09 PM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 19:23:34-05

RIVERVIEW, Fla. — A former day care employee is charged with three counts of battery, after a deputies say security footage shows her grabbing, pushing and shoving three toddlers to the ground.

Sarah Hand, 33, is being arraigned Monday. She worked at Discovery Point in Riverview for seven years. A father of one of the toddlers says he was furious when he found out what happened July 19.

"She should not be allowed to work with children,” said Shawn GoForth. 

Authorities say security footage during nap time shows Hand getting physical with the toddlers who couldn’t sleep. GoForth watched the video several times and says Hand takes his son away from his mat to scold him before grabbing his arm and heading back to the mat.

"When she gets over there she does like this and then he topples down onto his back and he stays now down. To me that’s too far,” he said, as he describes how she threw him to the ground.

Once day care management got word of the incident, they fired Hand right away and reported it to deputies. 

She was never formally arrested but after a few months, was charged with 3 counts of misdemeanor battery by the State Attorneys Office in Hillsborough County. GoForth believes they should have pushed for a harsher charge but says the State Attorneys Office believes there isn’t enough evidence for a child abuse charge.

 ABC Action News stopped by her house but no one was home.

"Don’t put your hands on my child,” said GoForth.

GoForth has been emailing with the State Attorneys office. He says they told him the plan is to try and get her into a misdemeanor intervention program that would make those three battery charges disappear. It would also clear her on the background checks and screenings required by law to work in a day care.  

"She can still work in a day care and she can watch other people’s children and the daycares will not know,” GoForth said. "If you’re not going to charge for a felony, then at least charger her for something where she’s not going to be working with other people’s children.”

We reached out to the state attorneys office by phone and e-mail and are waiting to hear back. GoForth believes his rights as the victim's father haven’t been met and feels like he’s been left out of the process. 

Hand plans on being at the arraignment Monday. He hopes he and his wife will be able to speak before the SAO decides what to do next.