CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A longtime former employee of a day care affiliated with Lee Health is in custody after pulling a girl’s hair and strangling a boy, the Cape Coral Police Department said.
Roietta Plazewski, 67, of 226 SW 37th St., was arrested Tuesday following the alleged encounter with the children who were playing after recess at the Cape Child Development Center on 636 Del Prado Blvd.
Plazewski grabbed the girl’s hair and “gave it a hard pull,” police said. She then grabbed the boy by his throat and pushed him back toward the playground.
She has since been fired.
Bruce Wood, the grandfather of another child at the center, called it “totally inexcusable.”
“[There’s] no reason to put your hands on a child,” he said.
An employee who witnessed the incident resigned after what she saw, according to police. When other employees approached Plazewski about what happened, she started crying and said, “It’s so hard to work with kids.”
Plazewski worked at the day care for over 25 years and at one time ran a day care from her home, neighbors said.
Lee Health issued a statement, saying in part:
“Every staff member is trained on techniques to focus on the positive aspects of a child’s actions. Our standards for employee behavior are high and we will not tolerate conduct that violates the trust of those in our care.”
The hospital is also launching an internal investigation following the allegations.
Plazewski is custody facing child abuse charges with a $20,000 bond.