‘The kids didn’t like nap time’ at the day care. Video showed police why, SD cops say

Teresa Gallagher and Kenedi Wendt are charged with abuse or cruelty to a minor.
Teresa Gallagher and Kenedi Wendt are charged with abuse or cruelty to a minor. Sioux Falls Police Department

Parents said their children were complaining about nap time at the Sioux Falls, South Dakota day care, PEOPLE reported.

Department spokesman Officer Sam Clemens said Saturday investigators were concerned that “the kids didn’t like nap time,” but the reason why became clear after they reveiwed security video footage from between Feb. 14 and Feb. 23 at Little Blessings Learning Center, PEOPLE said.

The footage showed that Teresa Gallagher, 31, and Kenedi Wendt, 22, had been abusing the young kids during nap time, authorities said, the Argus Leader reported.

Police allege the employees slammed kids onto mats, stepped on them, yanked their arms and banged their heads around, the newspaper said.

“These two employees would pick up the kids several feet off the ground and slam them onto the sleep mat,” Clemens said, reported KELO.

Clemens said the abuse seemed to be sparked by even a slight movement from a child, according to the Argus Leader. There was nothing in the footage that indicated the kids were misbehaving, he said, reported PEOPLE.

“All of it seemed to be happening really just kind of because,” Clemens said.

The investigation started when the parents of one boy filed a report in February, KDLT reported. The boy reportedly said a worker banged his head on a mat when he was sleeping.

Police said the children were 3 and 4 years old, KELO reported.

The day care’s operator released a statement saying the women have been fired, the news station reported. They were arrested Friday on charges of abuse or cruelty to a minor.

Clemens said none of the children needed medical care, the Argus Leader reported. But some kids had complained of headaches and back pain, he said.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year. According to Purva Grover, M.D., a pediatric eme