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Hillsborough daycare teacher arrested on child abuse charges

Video from the daycare captured the teacher abusing a 1-year-old boy and hitting a 4-month-old, deputies said.
Yamirka Menendez has been arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse, child abuse and battery.
Yamirka Menendez has been arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse, child abuse and battery. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Sep. 29

A teacher at a Hillsborough daycare facility is facing child abuse charges in connection with injuries to a 1-year-old boy.

Yamirka Menendez, 51, who worked at Time of Wonder Academy, 5130 Sunforest Drive, was captured on video abusing the child, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The abuse occurred on Sept. 8. Sheriff’s officials said Menendez removed the boy from a mechanical swing by his wrists, swung him about three feet in the air over a retaining wall, then dropped the child to the floor.

Later that day, video captured Menendez hitting the boy in the head while he was in the swing, sheriff’s officials said.

About an hour after that, video captured Menendez slapping a 4-month-old child several times and yanking on the child’s leg, deputies said.

The sheriff’s office said the 1-year-old’s mother took him to St. Joseph’s Hospital after noticing he had pain in his left foot. He was diagnosed with a fracture to his tibia and fibula. A later examination determined the injury was likely caused by abuse and an investigation was launched.

Sheriff’s office detectives worked with the daycare to review the video recordings that captured the incidents. Menendez was arrested Tuesday on charges of aggravated child abuse, child abuse and battery. She was being held at the Hillsborough County jail Wednesday without bail, records show.

A second daycare employee, Milagros Rodriguez, 52, who sheriff’s officials said was in the room at the time, is facing a charge of failing to report child abuse. She was released from jail after posting $2,000 bail, records show.

Milagros Rodriguez has been arrested on a charge of failing to report child abuse.
Milagros Rodriguez has been arrested on a charge of failing to report child abuse. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]