Tucson mom demands answers after daughter bitten while at daycare
Authorities said the bite marks appear to be from another child
TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - A Tucson woman is demanding answers after her child was bitten more than two dozen times while at a daycare.
“It’s stomach-turning. It feels both angry and sad at the same time," said Alice Martin.
Martin was shocked to find what was on her 15-month-old daughter’s body after a day at Creative Beginnings Preschool. She said she didn’t find the marks, hidden underneath her daughter’s clothes, until she was changing her at home.
“At first, I was like ‘are those really bite marks?’ And then, my brain kinda stopped thinking and I started crying," said Alice Martin. “There’s over 25 plus, it’s hard to tell. 25 would be the minimum that the police officer and I discussed."
The Tucson Police Department said officers took an initial report and the Crime Scene Unit took photos on Feb. 26, 2019, the day the incident happened. According to TPD Officer Raymond Smith, the bites appear to be from another child.
Officer Smith said the TPD Child Physical Abuse Unit has been investigating, but no charges or arrests have been made as of Monday, April 29.
Martin and her husband, both former Marines, chose the facility because it was accredited, close to work and close to the University of Arizona, where Alicia is enrolled.
“You always want to protect your children and I feel like that didn’t happen," Martin said. "I feel like I left her with someone that didn’t look out for her at all.”
KOLD News 13 reached out to Creative Beginnings Preschool, located on North 1st Avenue, for information about the incident.
A woman said the facility has spoken with “the department” and the claims are unsubstantiated. She said the daycare is not prepared to make a statement beyond that.
“The fact that they didn’t notify me even when I picked her up is just, astounding," said Martin.
The Arizona Department of Health Services released the following statement to KOLD News 13 about the incident:
“The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is investigating the incident at Creative Beginnings Daycare and working with law enforcement. The investigation is not completed and ADHS cannot comment on pending investigations.”
“It’s been two months with as far as I know, no repercussions and there’s very unlikely to be any for the daycare,” Martin said.
The most recent report available online that ADHS filed on the facility was in July 2018. According to the report, 10 citations were issued during the yearly compliance inspection.
The deficiencies included children not being signed in and out, staff not keeping track of the correct number of children in a room and a diaper changing station not up to regulations.
“Do I know what happened? No, but I know that a child getting bitten that many times would be crying and very upset," Martin said.
Martin said she worries if no action is taken, the same thing that happened to her daughter could happen to someone else’s child.
“The fact that nobody intervened in how many minutes, maybe they were left alone, maybe they just disregarded the cries, I don’t know. But it takes some time to do that kind of biting and my daughter would have been very upset," Martin said.
**Editor’s Note: A version of this story aired with the mother’s name as Alicia Martin. Her correct name is Alice Martin.
Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.