Two Muscogee Creek Nation day care workers have been charged with felony child abuse after police say they fed habanero hot sauce to a 13-month-old boy
, 49, and Tracy Owens
, 36, were arrested by Okemah Police after Department of Human Services workers reported the alleged crimes. Police say the women admit to buying the hot sauce and feeding it to the toddler
According to Okfuskee County court documents filed Thursday, video surveillance tape
shows the Muscogee Creek Nation Child Development Center workers put a plate of food before a toddler – identified as "C.F." – on a high chair tray.
Shortly after the toddler starts eating from the plate, the child appeared to be in distress, the affidavit states.
"While C.F. is distressed Rosie Hicks appears to be laughing,"
the document states.
When interviewed by the police, day care worker Tracy Owens said she bought the bottle of habanero hot sauce at the Homeland store in Okemah on March 7, 2011, at the request of co-worker Rosie Hicks.
Owens said she witnessed Rosie Hicks put some of the hot sauce into C.F.'s lunch plate later the same day. Owens then put the plate in front of the child on the high chair tray.
"Tracy stated that after eating the 'habanero' sauce, C.F. was crying because he was burning and in pain," the court document states.
When police interviewed Rosie Hicks, she admitted to putting the hot sauce on the child's plate and laughing while he cried. She said she knew it was wrong but that she did it "because of the stress she was under at work."
Hicks also admitted to making the child fall on one occasion
while he was standing and balancing by holding onto a table. She said she didn't apologize or help him get up, according to the affidavit filed in Okfuskee County court.