Two daycare staffers charged with child abuse

Courier photo by Priscilla Waggoner Children’s Garden Early Learning Center is located at 1304 San Juan.

Children’s Garden director called law enforcement

ALAMOSA — Two staff members, currently on leave from employment with the Children’s Garden Early Learning Center, appeared in county court on Tuesday for arraignment in connection with allegations of child abuse.

The two individuals, charged separately, were identified as Savannah Perales and Amber Rosario. Neither was arrested in connection with the allegations but, instead, were issued summons to appear in court.

According to documents obtained from the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office who assisted the Alamosa Police Department in investigating the case, a review of a videotape by the facility’s director, Denayea Martinez, prompted the call to law enforcement.  

The date of the video was April 23 and taken in a classroom of toddlers, where both women were working.

Martinez told ACSO Deputy Sergio Cazares that one segment of the video showed an incident where a staff member, identified as Perales, “forcefully picks up a child, forces the child into a chair and while doing so the child hit her head on the chair.”  The child was then “forcefully pushed” into a table, after which she begins to cry.

As described in ACSO’s investigative report, a second segment of the video, recorded 30 minutes later, showed an individual identified as Rosario “forcefully pulling a child across the room by his arm” and ‘lifting him off the ground with her left hand.”

Cazares then viewed the videotape and confirmed that Martinez’s description was accurate.

He also spoke to the parents of the child who had been pushed into the table and was told that a “thin red mark” had appeared on the child’s stomach.

When interviewed by Cazares, Rosario said that she remembered the incident and was “confused” as to why she was being issued a summons. She felt the complaint had been filed out of retaliation for her reporting another teacher.

According to Rosario’s statement, Perales had thrown shoes at the child’s face, causing him to cry and prompting Rosario to pull him in front of the camera in the room to document what was happening.

Cazares told her there was no camera footage of Perales throwing shoes at the child.

Perales was out of state when ACSO reached out to her to issue the summons. When she returned to Alamosa, Cazares went to her home and explained the reason for the summons. The investigative report does not indicate any further conversation.

According to documents obtained from the court, Perales has been charged with suspicion of child abuse, a class 1 misdemeanor, and is scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial conference on Aug. 14.

Rosario, who has been charged with suspicion of child abuse, a class 2 misdemeanor, is scheduled for her pre-trial conference on Aug. 10. She indicated at her arraignment that she plans to represent herself. “I have nothing to hide,” she said.

The Valley Courier reached out to the director of Children’s Garden Early Learning Center for comment but did not receive a response prior to press time.