LUTZ (FOX 13) - An employee at Children's Nest Day School was charged with child abuse after a coworker said the employee threw water in the face of a non-verbal, autistic child.
In a complaint affidavit from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, 34-year-old Tiffany Littlepage is accused of dumping water on the child's head, then "forcefully" throwing water in the child's face "in an upward motion because he was playing with" Littlepage's water bottle.
Another teacher at the school witnessed the incident, according to the affidavit.
Children's Nest owner Tripp Crouch told FOX 13 he immediately fired Littlepage and has since retrained staff. He's also apologized to parents.
"It happened at our school so we feel horrible. I mean there's no other way to say that. But like I said it's completely out of bounds. They're not trained that way," said Crouch.
"I would have been very upset had it been mine. I would have," said Pamela Collinsworth, whose granddaughter attends the day care.
She says the allegations sounded out of character for Littlepage, yet deputies say a classroom aide told investigators Littlepage "targets children who are slow learners and who have disabilities by putting the children in time-out and punishing the children unjustly."
Littlepage has been charged with child abuse and could face up to five years in prison if convicted.