A Chicago daycare worker has been charged with aggravated battery to a child after allegedly burning toddlers with a glue gun.
32-year-old Lizandra Cosme was arrested on December 17th in her Humboldt Park home. She was charged with five counts of battery after an investigation into an incident that allegedly happened at her workplace, the Children’s Learning Place, on December 1st. She was denied bail at her hearing, which took place at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.
Video footage taken during the day allegedly shows Cosme applying hot glue to the arms and hands of five two-year-olds, two boys, and three girls. According to one of the prosecutors on the case, “each of the child victims winced and some whined at the hot glue gun application.” The footage also shows Susana Gonzalez, an assistant at the daycare, watching and laughing as Cosme puts hot glue on the young children. She faces five misdemeanor charges of “causing the circumstances of endangering a child” for failing to stop the abuse. The extent of the injury to the children has not been disclosed.
Cosme allegedly tried to apply burn balm to cover up the marks on one of the children and asked a parent if the child had suffered their burns at home. The incident went unnoticed until one mother, an ER professional, reported the burns to the daycare’s director. It is unknown what motivated Cosme to apply hot glue to the children. Cosme apparently brought the glue gun into her workplace to work on a Christmas craft. Her defense attorney said that her actions were not malicious and that the daycare worker merely “screwed up.” Her husband and sister both told CBS 2 that she “made a mistake.”
“The well-being of our students is paramount,” Lissa Druss, the daycare’s spokeswoman, said in a statement after the charges were made. “Upon learning of the alleged incident, we notified DCFS immediately and terminated two of our employees. We are currently working with investigators.”
The Children’s Learning Place looks after children between the ages of 6 weeks and six years. When asked about the incident, several parents at the daycare told CBS2 that they had heard of a child coming home with a burn a few weeks prior. Most parents asked said that the case would not impact their decision to send their toddlers to the daycare.
Chicago’s Department of Children and Family Services say that they are also investigating the incident.
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