Daycare operator accused of assaulting boy out on bond

Published: Feb. 8, 2013 at 8:17 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2013 at 9:20 PM EST
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GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Goose Creek court officials have confirmed a daycare operator accused of beating a six-year-old boy with a belt last fall was released on bond Wednesday morning after surrendering to authorities.

Municipal court officials said 38-year-old Elona Colette Crawford was issued a personal recognizance bond ona charge of third-degree assault and battery.

Goose Creek Police Captain John Grainger a warrant was issued last week.  Crawford turned herself in early Wednesday.

Under the conditions of her release, Crawford will be allowed to return to work, but she cannot be alone with children until the case is resolved.  A jury trial has been scheduled for Mar. 18.

According to a police report, the child's mother became suspicious of abuse on Oct. 1 last year when she was bathing her son. The report states the mother told him to "put his arms up and turn around" at which time he said, "Just like Ms. Colette?"

When the mother asked the boy what he meant, he told her "when she beat me," the report states.

The boy told his mother Crawford beat him with his own black belt in the bathroom of the facility after he got on the wrong bus, the report states. The boy said he was supposed to get on Crawford's bus, which was red, but other kids told him to get on the blue bus, so he did, according to the report.

The boy told his mother "Ms. Colette" beat him because she was angry with him, the report states. The mother told police she believed the abuse happened either on Oct. 1 or Sep. 28.

According to the report, the victim's mother then called Crawford, who told her that her son must have been confused. She told the mother she disciplined the children at the center by having them open their hands so she could "pop them three times," the report states.

Crawford said the boy just must have been confused by seeing her discipline another child like that, according to the report. Crawford then asked the mother if she would be bringing her child back to the daycare.

The victim's mother decided against doing so, and called police instead. She also contacted the Department of Social Services, but was told the daycare was exempt from their investigations since it was only open for four hours or less daily.

Crawford is expected to turn herself in at the Goose Creek Police Department on Wednesday, Grainger said.

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