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

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read