TULSA, Okla. – The former director of an Ottawa County day care is accused of abusing a 4-year-old autistic child in her care.
Rachel Waynett Bear, 42, of Miami is charged in U.S. District Court in Tulsa with child abuse in Indian Country.
According to court records, Bear, who has worked in childcare for 23-years, was seen on surveillance video at Tiny Tigers Daycare, where she worked at the time, abusing the child by jerking her head backward and shoveling food inside the child’s mouth.
The Commerce-based day care is listed as a Five-Star day care in Oklahoma, the highest ranking a daycare can achieve, according to the state’s Department of Human Services website. Bear was fired from her position.
The surveillance footage shows the child struggling and crying, according to court records. The video, reportedly also shows Bear releasing the victim, “blowing on the food as if it is hot, and then shoving it back into” the child’s mouth with even greater force, court documents show.
Investigators say that once Bear released the autistic child, she “hovered over her before reaching down, grabbing” the child’s hand and repeatedly slapping it.
When Quapaw Nation Marshals confronted Bear with the surveillance footage, she allegedly said “The video looked worse than what happened” and denied the allegations and denied being too aggressive with the victim.
Bear reportedly said to investigators that shoveling food in the child’s mouth was the way the child had to be persuaded to eat and she slapped the child’s hand because the child tried to bite her, court records show.
Bear was dating the children’s father, and the victim and a younger sibling had been living with Bear since July. Bear claimed she only disciplined the victim once with a “pat” on the bottom, court documents state.
Daycare workers told Quapaw Nation Marshals that Bear repeatedly slapped the victim’s face and allegedly said, “I hate that little f****** b****” and “I don’t want to be with [the victim] alone because I don’t know what I would do to her.”
Bear reportedly said she had “beaten the crap” out of the victim and reportedly said “Look how red [the victim’s ] mouth is, I smacked her in the mouth so many times” and also said she “let her run out into the road,” court documents show.
The child was allegedly left in a car unattended during the summer because Bear wanted her to “shut up.” She also is accused of locking the child in her car seat in the office, court records show.
In an interview with Quapaw Nation Marshals, Bear said the witnesses made up the allegations.
Bear is free on $10,000 bail and ordered to have no contact with the victim, court records show. Her trial is set for Dec. 18 in Tulsa before Chief Judge John F Heil III. Bear has waived her right to a speedy trial and her attorney has asked for a continuance.