RIVERDALE (ABC4 Utah News) – The owner of a daycare center where a child was allegedly physically abused last year disputes the Riverdale Police Department’s report of the incident.
It happened at the Riverdale branch of Bravo Arts Academy and Daycare on November 3rd, 2016. According to the police report, 20 year old employee Alex Jones yanked a 5 year old boy from underneath a table by his arm, pinned him to the floor and placed his hands around the boys’ neck. Bravo’s founder and owner Angy Ford told ABC4 Utah News that doesn’t sound like the employee she knows.
“I call him one of my most chill teachers,” Ford said Monday. “He’s chill. He’s just really easy going and he’s a pleasure to have around.”
The incident was recorded by surveillance cameras. Ford, a mother of five herself, has seen it and while she would would not discuss the specifics of the case, she said in a written statement: “While it was determined, in retrospect, that the employee could have implemented other courses of action short of physically restraining the child, we concluded that no abuse occurred between the Bravo employee and the student.”
“I’m very sensitive to the word abuse,” Ford told ABC4 Utah News. “I have more experience than I really want to go into but that’s a serious topic and it wasn’t taken lightly.”
ABC4 spoke to the 5 year old boy’s mother on the phone Monday night. She was not available for an on camera interview but she said that Ford has covered up instances of abuse at Bravo in the past and calls her “manipulative”.
Ford says a few families have pulled their children out of Bravo Arts Academy because of the allegations…and this has also affected her personally and emotionally
“My husband says ‘Keep it together and you know, try not to be so emotional about it and don’t let it, don’t let it affect you so much because the people that know you will know who you are’,” Ford said while holding back tears. “It will work out.”
Ford says that Bravo’s three locations in Ogden, Riverdale and Clearfield have a combined 210 employees and serve 3500 families.
Jones had worked for Bravo for 10 months prior to the incident. He remains suspended pending the outcome of his case.