GLASTONBURY--On the same day that Glastonbury Police announced the arrest of a daycare director and worker, one mom whose son suffered at their hands came forward to talk to FOX 61.
Wilder Zandonella says her 2-year-old son Evan is among those children who were mistreated at the Stork Club daycare center in Glastonbury.
“I received a phone call from a teacher just on a random day in December, saying that she had called DCF,” said Zandonella, a high school guidance counselor. Zandonella said that teacher called DCF after hearing that Evan was mistreated by 22-year-old Nicole Mayo, a teacher at Stork Club.
“She had allegedly force fed him,” said Zandonella. “He started to choke and then began to cry because he was upset from being force fed, of course. And then she hit him over the back of the head at that point.”
Zandonella and her husband immediately pulled Evan from the daycare center and never brought him back.
On Friday, Mayo was arrested and charged with three counts risk of injury to a minor and disorderly conduct. During an investigation, police say they found probable cause to substantiate accusations that Mayo hit, restrained and roughly handled several 2-year-olds at the daycare over the course of the past year.
On Monday, police also arrested the Stork Club’s director, Meegan Beach, who is charged with three counts of failure to report child abuse and three counts of risk of injury to a minor. Police say they found no evidence that Beach notified DCF or authorities about the ongoing abuse at the daycare center, which she is mandated to do by state law. Police also say that several other employees told Beach about Mayo's abusive behavior towards the kids, but that she didn't do anything about it.
“I think we’re even more angry that the center and the director as a whole didn’t protect our child and the other children and all the other families that are still there,” said Zandonella.
She says it took months for her and her husband to put Evan back in another daycare, and now they have a message to the staff members at Stork Club who they once trusted: “Shame on you,” said Zandonella. “Meegan’s a mother herself. And I’d say, mother-to-mother, ‘What the hell were you thinking? How would you feel if your children were put in this situation and nobody did anything about it?’”
Further investigation into Stork Club revealed several other violations. Five of the company’s six locations across Connecticut have been cited by the state. Stork Clubs in Meriden, Orange, Rocky Hill, Southington and Glastonbury all received violations. Those violations include things like neglect, child protection and staff ratios.
We reached out to Stork Club, but have not yet heard back.