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Metro daycare worker arrested for child abuse

OKLAHOMA CITY - A metro daycare worker was arrested on Thursday after allegedly breaking the arm of a 5-month-old baby boy.

The alleged abuse happened on February 20 at Childcare Network at 14300 N. Western.

The abuse was discovered by the baby's mother who noticed his forearm was swollen.

"I took his hoodie off, and he screamed in so much pain, and I was like why, and I looked at his arm and it was noticeably swollen," said Nicole Browning.

She took her son, Airick Browning, to Mercy Hospital where they x-rayed his arm and discovered two different fractures.

"I honestly started crying, because I was so angry. Like, he was 4 months old when it happened, and that's pretty traumatic for a 4-month-old," Nicole said. "It really broke my heart, because I'm a new mom and I just don't even, I don't even have words to explain how it felt."

According to court documents, the worker is seen on surveillance video "removing A.B. from a bouncy seat by grabbing his right arm only and pulling him up to her in a forceful manner."

Then, while attempting to feed him, she continued "to move him around in her lap in a forceful manner."

Shannon Smith, 25, was arrested on Thursday for child abuse, which is a felony.

"I was a little bit shocked. I've never noticed anything that would make me worry about the safety of my child here," said Matthew Long, whose child also attends Childcare Network.

Long said the arrest won't necessarily cause him to change daycares, but he said he'll be watching more closely.

"And, I'd like to think that, if the allegations and such are well-founded and all that, you know, appropriate justice will be meted out by the police, and such and the courts and that, you know, of course, I'm sure that'll make the institution make a harder look at their hiring practice and monitoring their staff," Long said.

DHS tells us they are conducting their own investigation but Childcare Network has a good compliance record with the state.

"I want all the parents to know about this place, that they're not watching their employees like they need to know, and I don't even think this place should be open anymore truthfully," Nicole said.

We attempted to get in touch with Smith but were unsuccessful.

Childcare Network sent us this statement:

"We are very protective of the safety and well being of our children and are saddened to know that a member of our staff would ever handle a child in a rough manner. Early investigations indicate that this teacher attempted to pull the child up from a bouncy seat toward her by one arm. This is not a safe or appropriate way of lifting a child and resulted in a fracture. The teacher’s actions clearly violated our policies, our mission, and our beliefs. She was terminated immediately and we reported the matter to the appropriate authorities. We continue to cooperate with their ongoing investigation.

Childcare Network has proudly served families in the Oklahoma City area for more than 5 years. We have worked hard to gain the highest ratings and the trust of our parents. Our staff are highly qualified and our experienced management team is quality focused. We have so many great, educated, and loving teachers that have dedicated their careers to improving the lives of children and families. The actions of one individual are not representative of our team, our school or our company."