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

Our community news matters

Guest editorial by Arnold Malone

The GoPro that refused to drown

A snorkler found a submerged GoPro and used the camera footage to find the owners

Shuswap Indian Band supports students, voices concerns for families

Shuwap Indian Band collaborates with school district on crafts, workbooks, worksheets and contests

Group home offers solace through pandemic

Rolf Heer says “life is good” at Columbia Garden Village

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read