Women charged with child abuse in Clarkston First Baptist daycare incident

(L) Autumn Coney, (R) Bernetta Glover.
(L) Autumn Coney, (R) Bernetta Glover.(DeKalb County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 12:23 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 12:27 PM EDT
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CLARKSTON, Ga. (CBS46) - Two women accused of abusing children at the Clarkston First Baptist Daycare have been arrested and charged with cruelty to children in the first degree, Clarkston police officials confirmed to CBS46 News.

According to Clarkston police officials, an arrest warrant was recently issued for Autumn Coney and Bernetta Glover after a mother came forward with concerns about what she saw on surveillance video on July 13.

Krystin Collier described seeing her 3-year-old son allegedly “punched in the face, pulled by his hair, slammed in the corner and pushed over a chair” at the Clarkston First Baptist Church daycare.

Collier said she knew something didn’t seem right when her son came home from daycare on July 6 and she found scars and bruises on her child’s arm.

“This day, he was very, very emotional, standoffish. He was missing a shoe; he was very disheveled,” Collier previously told CBS46 News.

Collier says that’s when she started asking questions. She tells CBS46 she went to the daycare multiple times to find out what happened to her son and said the staff at the church told her there was nothing to find out and denied wrongdoing.

That’s when she demanded to see the daycare’s surveillance tape, and when they shared it, she was horrified.

In the video, you can see Collier’s son wearing black and the daycare staff member is in white. The staff member appears to pick up her son multiple times and shoves him to the ground.

And that’s just one part of the video. Collier says it gets worse

“The staff punched my child in the face, grab him by his ponytail, and lead him around like it’s a leash. I watched her grab him by his top ponytail, slam him against the wall, punch him in the face,” said Collier.

The mother immediately contacted Clarkston police.

An initial report filed by the Clarkston Police Department officer who responded to the scene claims the surveillance video does show the child being thrown down several times, pulled off the ground by his hair, and punched and slapped multiple times.

“I feel so bad for him, and this is the first time that he’s ever been in daycare,” said Collier. “This is a church. This is a church. and I trusted the church.”

A letter previously sent to her from the Academy’s Administrative Director states a “thorough investigation was conducted” and “no action by staff or otherwise indicate or coincide with the marks observed on (the child’s) underarms.”

The letter acknowledged a “need for some classroom restructuring and additional staff training in addressing challenging behaviors,” citing that tensions were high in the classroom on that day.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office arrested Coney on Aug. 3 and Glover was arrested and booked on Aug. 4. Both are charged with cruelty to children in the first degree.

This remains an active investigation.