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Daycare worker arrested in child cruelty case

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

A Jonesboro daycare center worker - charged with one count of cruelty to children, and one count of making false statements (both felonies) - is scheduled to have a first appearance hearing in Clayton County Magistrate Court this morning.

Ashley Beck, 21, is set to appear in court at 10 a.m, according to court records.

Jonesboro Police arrested Beck Thursday at the Learn and Play Academy daycare center for allegedly "maliciously" picking up a 2-year-old boy by the arm, in an incident that was caught on video tape, according to an application for an arrest warrant police sought in the case.

She was being held in the Clayton County Jail Thursday, jail officials said.

Beck was arrested following a police investigation into the Sept. 16 incident at the daycare center, located at 106 Gloria Drive, according to Lt. Wayne Woods, of the Jonesboro Police Department.

According to the application for the arrest warrant: "Ashley Beck did maliciously pick up [the child] ... by his right arm, hyperextending it upward over his head causing 'Nursemaid's Elbow' to occur which causes excessive pain when bending ..."

Nursemaid's elbow is the term described as the child's diagnosis on the discharge papers from a hospital, the application said.

The incident occurred while the boy was being awakened from a nap at the daycare center, according to court documents.

Police say Beck gave false, written and verbal, statements to Lt. Woods when asked about the incident, saying that she "tapped his [the child's] behind, nudging him to wake up," according to court documents.

The police department investigated the incident after being contacted by the boy's mother, Monique McGee, 26, of Jonesboro, according to a police report. McGee could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

A woman, who answered the phone at the Learn and Play Academy Thursday evening, would not give her name, but said she could not comment on the matter. She said there was no manager at the facility available to comment.

No attorney was listed for Ashley Beck in court records Thursday.