Google Maps screenshot

Charges dropped for alleged ‘fight club’ at Missouri day care centre

The women were initially accused of encouraging fighting that involved at least six children in 2016

St. Louis prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against two workers at a day care centre who were accused of facilitating a “fight club” among the small children.

Tena Dailey and Mickala Guliford were charged in November with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child after video surfaced from Adventure Learning Center in December 2016, showing small boys wearing oversized green Incredible Hulk fists punching each other, including in the head.

The video shows the workers watching, with one of them jumping up and down in apparent excitement. The only person shown trying to break up a fight is another preschooler.

A prosecution memo filed Monday said the case was presented to a grand jury but charges were being dropped due to “insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.” The memo was provided Wednesday by Talmage Newton IV, Dailey’s attorney, who said in a statement he was pleased by the decision.

Both teachers were fired but no charges were filed until after the video, obtained by KTVI-TV, aired in October. Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office cited “new evidence” in filing charges. The case was then sent to a grand jury.

READ MORE: Abbotsford school suspended 20 students for ‘fight club’

Susan Ryan, Gardner’s spokeswoman, said in a statement that while prosecutors share the community’s concern about the children, it was “the right thing” to allow the grand jury to decide on charges.

The women were initially accused of encouraging fighting that involved at least six children on Dec. 7, 2016. A 4-year-old boy, on his birthday, suffered a black eye, the charges alleged.

Video of the fight was captured by a surveillance camera and by the cellphone of the 10-year-old brother of one of the fight participants, who was in an adjoining room. That child sent the video to his mother, who contacted the centre director.

A lawsuit filed over the fight is still pending.

A phone message left with the centre’s attorney was not immediately returned.

Jim Salter, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Kootenay-Columbia candidates attend Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum

About 120 people attended the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum on Oct. 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre.

Green and NDP candidates talk strategic voting at Nelson public meeting

Wayne Stetski and Abra Brynne traded ideas but made no concessions for this election

Annual Windermere Fire Halloween Haunted House bigger than ever

Less scares earlier; more scares later at annual haunted house

Kootenay-Columbia candidate cautious after getting threats

Trev Miller of the Animal Protection Party carries on campaigning under shadow of threats, abusive emails

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Most Read