WESTPORT — A staffer at a local daycare center has been charged with risk of injury to infants in her care, and three other staffers at the center are accused of failing to report the abuse as required.
Suzette Virgo, 44, of Bridgeport, was charged with risk of injury to a child in connection with a police investigation at Bright Beginnings Early Childhood Program that began last June.
The daycare center is located at 49 Weston Road, the grounds of the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston.
A person who answered the phone at the Westport daycare center Tuesday said she did not know anything about the arrests, and referred comment to the daycare firm’s management — which operates several other daycare facilities in the region — who did not immediately respond.
Police said Virgo’s arrest follows an investigation into claims they received that a staffer at the Weston Road daycare “in one of the infant classrooms moved the kids about in an aggressive manner, kicked a ball at some of the babies, and left the children crying for extended periods of time,” according to the report.
Investigators later identified Virgo as the suspect, and substantiated the allegations after more evidence was collected, police said.
A warrant for Virgo’s arrest was issued and she turned herself in Dec. 17 at police headquarters. She was released after posting $50,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge Jan. 5 at state Superior Court in Stamford.
In a related development, three other staffers at the Bright Beginnings daycare — Ayshia Jaeger, Ridhita Gupta and Kelleigh Cantiello — were charged after they were “allegedly made aware of the possible abuse/neglect, but failed to make a report to the [state] Department of Children and Family Services as is required by law since all three are mandated reporters,” according to the police report.
Jaeger, 41, of Norwalk; Gupta, 42, of Darien, and Cantiello, 24, of Stratford, each faces a charge of failure to report abuse or neglect by a mandated reporter.
All three turned themselves in at police headquarters and were released after each posting a $25,000 bond.
Gupta will be arraigned Dec. 30, Cantiello on Jan. 4 and Jaeger on Jan 5, at state Superior Court in Stamford.