MADISON - The former director of an Oregon, Wis., day care center was charged Monday with three counts of child abuse and one count of suffocation for allegedly abusing children in her care.
Heather M. Hook, 34, of Madison, allegedly tried to force a 15-month-old girl in her care to drink milk and pushed her face into a pillow to punish her for not doing it, center employees told police, according to a criminal complaint.
Hook, who was director of the Foxboro Child Care Center, was released on a signature bond after appearing in court on Monday
According to the complaint:
A Foxboro employee said that on Aug. 4 she saw Hook, upset that the girl wasn't drinking her milk, grab the girl by the wrists, slam her hands down on the table and yell at her.
When the girl continued to cry and refuse her milk, the complaint states, Hook carried her by the arms to some pillows in a corner and pushed her face down into the pillows until her cries were muffled.
"This is going to teach you," Hook said, the employee told police. "You are going to get punished if you don't drink your milk."
The girl's mother told police that she noticed injuries on her daughter's body that included a possible bruise to her head and what appeared to be broken blood vessels on her side.
Another mother also told police that her 10-month-old son had injuries on his body that were not there the day before. A Foxboro worker described to police how the boy had been crawling near a children's slide when Hook grabbed him under the stomach using one arm and carried him like a ball to another area.
Dr. Barbara Knox, a child abuse expert at UW Children's Hospital, described bruising that the boy sustained as abusive in nature, caused by squeezing. He also had bruising to his ear, typical of a slap or a punch, Knox told police.