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Rosewood Academy investigation: Court citations detail incidents involving Omaha daycare owner, staff

The owner of Rosewood Academy and two staff members from one of the daycare locations were...
The owner of Rosewood Academy and two staff members from one of the daycare locations were cited by Douglas County Court this week for child abuse.
Published: Apr. 10, 2021 at 1:29 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha Police on Saturday made available documents detailing citations filed against the owner and staff of Rosewood Academy daycare, which has been closed since a COVID-19 outbreak was reported at one of its locations last month.

According to a report filed in Douglas County Court on Thursday, Rosewood Academy owner Carl Hansen was cited for child abuse by neglect with no serious injury. The citation says that “Hansen was seen screaming at the children, who all ran away,” but one child froze, and Hansen reportedly grabbed that child by the wrist.

The initial OPD report, dated March 25, details the Jan. 29 incident, was made to police by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. That report states the detective determined that Hansen, working at the Rosewood location at 5225 N. 158th St., was seen “yanking” the wrist of the 2-year-old, causing the child to fall.

Hansen then grabbed the child by the foot or ankle and “yanked” the child towards him again, then picked up the child by the upper arm, “leaving a red mark” that was observed by a teacher at the daycare, according to the court citation signed by Hansen. A witness also told the detective that the child tried to bite Hansen to get away from him, and that Hansen was heard yelling “I’m not doing this with you again.”

Another OPD report dated March 31 details an incident that occurred Dec. 16, 2020, involving Sage Bartow, a worker at the daycare.

The report states that a parent of a child not quite 2 years old at the time reported to police that a staff member at the Rosewood location at 3830 N. 176th St. had pulled the child’s feet “out from under her, which caused her to fall backward and hit her head on the floor.” The parent also told police that they had been made aware by another parent that the matter had been reported to DHHS.

A detective filed a report on the matter on Friday, April 2, and Douglas County Court issued a citation for Bartow, now 22, on Thursday, April 8, for child abuse by neglect with no serious injury.

According to the citation signed by Bartow, investigators determined that Bartow became “impatient with the children, trying to have them all sit down,” and that the child involved in the complaint was “not listening to Bartow.” A witness saw Bartow grab the child by both legs, pulling them out from under the child and causing the child to fall onto their bottom and back and subsequently hitting their head on the wooden floor, the court document states.

“The witness state (the child) cried afterwards... off and on for the next hour while acting afraid of Bartow,” the document states.

Authorities spoke with Bartow, who said that she did pull the legs out from under the child, but that she held onto the child’s back while doing so, and that child never hit their head. She said she attributed the child’s crying to struggling with having a new baby sibling at home. However, authorities later determined that the baby had not yet been born at the time of the incident, according to the citation.

She also said management had given her coaching after a CPS investigation into the matter in December, the document states.

The report for the incident involving Summer Dawson, 23, shows DHHS prompted that investigation as well, notifying OPD on Tuesday, April 6, that they had received a call on their hotline that the worker — also at Rosewood’s 158th Street location — had dropped a 3-year-old next to a concrete wall, causing the child to hit their head on it.

According to the Douglas County Court citation, also for child abuse by neglect with no serious injury, the incident happened Nov. 1. According to the investigating detective, a former assistant director at the daycare said they saw video of the incident and that the daycare worker was trying to put a nametag on the child, who wasn’t cooperating, and that “Dawson can be seen placing (the child) on her spot roughly, partially dropping her to a seating position,” causing the child to hit their head on the concrete wall.

Court documents signed by Dawson state that she admitted to the detective that she had handled the situation “roughly,” stating “I threw her at the wall,” and recalling that the child developed a “big bump” on the back of their head.

Parents were notified Friday that the daycare would remain closed.

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