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Berlin, MD - Berlin Activities Depot Daycare Worker, Heather Lynn Ward, Faces Felony Child Abuse Charge and 14 Assault Counts After Baby Suffers Broken Leg

Berlin, MD - Berlin Activities Depot Daycare Worker, Heather Lynn Ward, Faces Felony Child Abuse Charge and 14 Assault Counts After Baby Suffers Broken Leg
Published: February 23, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on February 23, 2024

Maryland Daycare Worker Facing Felony Child Abuse Charges

According to MD Coast Dispatch, a Berlin daycare worker is facing serious charges of assault and child abuse after an eight-month-old baby was brought to the hospital with a broken leg. Heather Lynn Ward, a 39-year-old resident of Berlin, has been charged with 14 counts of second-degree assault and one felony count of second-degree child abuse while working at Berlin Activities Depot - Berlin Education Station located at 10008 Old Ocean City Blvd, Berlin, MD 21811.

The charges against Ward are based on her time working in the infant classroom at the daycare. The investigation began in November when the child's mother reported that her eight-month-old daughter had been diagnosed with a broken tibia at Atlantic General Hospital. The mother stated that her child was fine before attending daycare at Berlin Activities Depot/Education Station on November 1, 2023.

Upon visiting the childcare facility and speaking with the director and teachers of the "Baby Buzzing Bees" classroom, investigators were initially informed that the staff was unaware of any incident causing the child's injury. However, as the investigation progressed, video surveillance footage from November 1 was reviewed. The footage revealed several disturbing interactions between Ward and the child.

According to charging documents, the video showed Ward hitting the child multiple times, using both her left and right hands. The footage provided evidence of Ward's abusive behavior towards the infant.

Further examination of the video footage revealed other concerning interactions between Ward and other children in the classroom. In response to these findings, investigators requested that Ward be removed from the classroom until the investigation was complete. Ward was subsequently placed on leave and later terminated, according to the charging documents.

In addition to the broken leg incident on November 1, 2023, video evidence from October 1 to November 13 showed numerous disturbing interactions between Ward and the victim. One incident on October 23 allegedly involved Ward pushing down on the child's body, slapping her, and even punching her on the head area, as detailed in the charging documents.

A doctor's evaluation confirmed that the child's injury was consistent with an "impact/compression injury" known as a buckle fracture. The doctor noted that a significant amount of force had been applied to the child's heel, causing the injury.

When confronted with the video evidence in December, Ward denied intending to harm any of the children. However, she admitted to witnessing the interactions in the videos and claimed that the staff at the Education Station had assured her that the child's leg did not appear to be broken.

Following the revelations, parents of other children in Ward's classroom on November 1 were shown the video footage of their children's interactions with her. The investigation is ongoing, and additional charges may be filed as more evidence is gathered.

Heather Lynn Ward appeared in Worcester County District Court on Thursday for a bail review and is currently being held without bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Anjalih 19, 2024 in District Court.

The community and parents are left shocked and deeply concerned about the safety of their children in daycare facilities. Authorities are urging parents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behavior or concerns regarding their children's well-being.

Aaron Blank - Maryland Injury Lawyer
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Seeking Justice for Daycare Abuse Victims

In light of the shocking case of daycare abuse in Berlin, Maryland, it is more important to discuss the legal options available to families of childcare abuse victims. In this interview, child abuse attorney Aaron Blank, Esq., based in Maryland, provides valuable insights into pursuing a civil case against liable parties. From discussing the steps families should take if they suspect daycare abuse to navigating the complexities of the legal process, Attorney Blank offers guidance on seeking justice for children who have suffered abuse at daycare facilities.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Thank you for joining us, Mr. Blank. In light of the recent shocking case of daycare abuse, could you share some insights on what actions families of victims abused at a daycare can take in pursuing a civil case against the responsible parties?

Attorney Aaron Blank (AB): Thank you for having me, Darla. It's important for families to understand that they have legal avenues to seek justice for their children who have suffered abuse at a daycare facility. In cases like these, a civil lawsuit can be filed against the liable parties, which may include the daycare facility, its employees, and even individual caregivers involved in the abuse.

DM: What steps should families take if they suspect their child has been a victim of daycare abuse?

AB: The first and foremost step is to ensure the safety and well-being of the child. If immediate medical attention is necessary, that should be the priority. Following that, it's crucial to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities, such as local law enforcement or child protective services. These agencies can conduct investigations to gather evidence and hold the responsible parties accountable.

DM: Once the criminal investigation is underway, when should families consider pursuing a civil case?

AB: Families should consult with an experienced daycare abuse attorney as soon as possible. It's important to remember that while the criminal justice system focuses on punishing the abuser, a civil lawsuit allows families to seek compensation for the physical, emotional, and psychological injuries their child has endured. It's best to initiate the civil process while the evidence is fresh, and witnesses' memories are still reliable.

DM: What does a civil case against liable parties entail, and what can families expect during this process?

AB: A civil case involves filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties, typically seeking damages for the harm caused. Families can expect their attorney to thoroughly investigate the incident, gather evidence, consult with experts, and build a strong case. The legal process may involve negotiations, mediation, or, if necessary, litigation in court. The goal is to hold the liable parties accountable and obtain compensation to support the child's recovery and future well-being.

DM: Are there any limitations or challenges families might face when pursuing a civil case?

AB: Each case is unique, and the challenges can vary. However, some common obstacles include proving the liability of the daycare facility or employees, navigating complex legal procedures, and dealing with potential resistance from the opposing party. That's why having an experienced attorney specializing in daycare abuse cases is crucial. They can guide families through the process, protect their rights, and advocate for the best possible outcome.

DM: Thank you, Mr. Blank, for shedding light on the options available to families affected by daycare abuse. We appreciate your valuable insights.

AB: My pleasure, Darla. Families should know how to learn more about their rights and know that legal recourse is available to them. If anyone finds themselves in such a distressing situation, I encourage them to consult with a qualified attorney who can provide personalized guidance and support.

Sources:

MD Coast Dispatch

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About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: darla@eaglepeakmarketing.com This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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