PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The mother of a woman accused of child abuse for hitting a child at a daycare says her daughter is totally innocent.
Ashley Richards, 32, was arrested by Pinellas County deputies after a witness told them she saw Richards hit a child on the playground at KinderCare in Dunedin.
A spokesperson for KinderCare says Richards has now been fired from her job.
Richards’ mother says the charges against her daughter are false.
“My daughter claims that did not happen and that’s even what the report says, she did not,” said Adrena Palmieri.
She says her daughter has been babysitting since she was 12 and that she would never hurt a child.
“She was devastated. All she did was cry yesterday. She could not believe this has happened. I mean, I don’t even know, I’m at a loss. This is just unbelievable,” said Palmieri.
The witness gave Pinellas County deputies a video of the incident. The sheriff’s office says they will not release the video at this time because it is part of an open and active investigation.
Palmieri believes the video will vindicate her daughter.
“My daughter would never do anything to anybody. She is the kindest person. She couldn’t even hurt a fly. Once we get this all taken care of, whatever we’ve got to do to clear her name is what we’re going to do,” said Palmieri.