Daycare employee arrested for assault

A former daycare employee was arrested on suspicion of two counts of assault in the fourth degree.

A former employee of the Children’s Academy daycare in Oak Harbor was arrested on suspicion of two counts of assault in the fourth degree, according to police documents.

Darlene Hoffman, a longtime staff member, was caught on camera spanking and aggressively turning over a child, according to the police. The documents state that the force used in the videos amounted to gross misdemeanor assault because it was not moderate or reasonable and not authorized in advance by any of the children’s parents.

The two videos were taken by another employee who only worked at the daycare for a day. She witnessed but did not record Hoffman “pushing a child by the face to get the child to lay down for a nap,” police records state. These incidents caused the employee who took the videos to quit.

Jan Alger, owner of the Childrens’ Academy, fired Hoffman over the behavior recorded in the two videos. Hoffman had been her employee since 2006. Another employee reported to police they had witnessed Hoffman treating children in a similar way as in the videos, such as “roughly grabbing them by the arms, often making them cry,” according to police documents.

Two other former employees reported they had quit because of Hoffman’s behavior and that it seemed to be ignored by Alger, the reports state.

Hoffman is set to appear in court on May 25.

The Children’s Academy building is now listed for sale on for $999,000 by owner Jan Agler, who could not be reached for comment.