DALLAS – The owner of a Mesquite, Texas, day care told police she gave children Tylenol “to make her job easier” and kept them strapped in car seats, some tied by their necks, so they would be still, according to police documents.
Rebecca Anderson, 60, has been charged with nine counts of endangering a child and is being held in the Dallas County Jail. Bail has been set at $5,000 for each count.
Mesquite police were tipped Friday to possible child abuse at Becky’s Child Day Care, a business Anderson operated out of her home.
A man whose 6-month-old son was being cared for by Anderson went to police after reviewing footage captured on a camera he had attached to the infant’s car seat the day before. Anderson was recorded yanking the baby out of the seat by his ankle and feeding him an “unknown substance” with a plastic syringe, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by KXAS-TV.
The video also reportedly shows Anderson lifting up the baby by his bib.
When police searched the day care, they found three children in a bedroom closet and at least one in a bathroom. Others were lying on the floor. The lights were off and the doors were shut, the affidavit stated.
The children were strapped into plastic car seats, some of which had the padding removed, police said. Several had to be cut free because they had “cotton shoelace-like ligatures” tied around their necks and secured to the back of the seats, the affidavit said.
Six boys and three girls — whose ages have not been released — were found in the home. Police encouraged their parents to have them checked at a hospital.
Anderson, after initially denying giving the children medication, later admitted that she probably gave them all Tylenol “to make them stop crying and to make her job easier,” according to police documents.
She told police she regularly left the children in the car seats for at least seven hours a day but acknowledged the dangers of doing so. She admitted to tying the ligatures to limit the children from moving and to prevent them from getting out of the seats.
In the past three years, Becky’s Child Day Care has been cited once by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The 2016 infraction was related to an emergency preparedness plan, according to the agency’s website.