Google Maps screenshot

Charges dropped for alleged ‘fight club’ at Missouri day care centre

The women were initially accused of encouraging fighting that involved at least six children in 2016

St. Louis prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against two workers at a day care centre who were accused of facilitating a “fight club” among the small children.

Tena Dailey and Mickala Guliford were charged in November with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child after video surfaced from Adventure Learning Center in December 2016, showing small boys wearing oversized green Incredible Hulk fists punching each other, including in the head.

The video shows the workers watching, with one of them jumping up and down in apparent excitement. The only person shown trying to break up a fight is another preschooler.

A prosecution memo filed Monday said the case was presented to a grand jury but charges were being dropped due to “insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.” The memo was provided Wednesday by Talmage Newton IV, Dailey’s attorney, who said in a statement he was pleased by the decision.

Both teachers were fired but no charges were filed until after the video, obtained by KTVI-TV, aired in October. Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office cited “new evidence” in filing charges. The case was then sent to a grand jury.

READ MORE: Abbotsford school suspended 20 students for ‘fight club’

Susan Ryan, Gardner’s spokeswoman, said in a statement that while prosecutors share the community’s concern about the children, it was “the right thing” to allow the grand jury to decide on charges.

The women were initially accused of encouraging fighting that involved at least six children on Dec. 7, 2016. A 4-year-old boy, on his birthday, suffered a black eye, the charges alleged.

Video of the fight was captured by a surveillance camera and by the cellphone of the 10-year-old brother of one of the fight participants, who was in an adjoining room. That child sent the video to his mother, who contacted the centre director.

A lawsuit filed over the fight is still pending.

A phone message left with the centre’s attorney was not immediately returned.

Jim Salter, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

Warfield elementary school celebrating 70 years

Webster Elementary School officially opened April 23, 1949; open house and events planned next week

Trail workshop offers path forward for affordable/supportive housing

Columbia Basin Trust, BC Housing and the CMHC all spoke during the Tuesday morning session

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Most Read