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Police: Westport day care worker kicked ball at baby, left children crying; 4 arrested

DCF had opened a case into teacher Suzette Virgo after another employee reported Virgo was mistreating infants in her care. Virgo was fired from Bright Beginnings in June after DCF followed up.

News 12 Staff

Dec 21, 2021, 3:17 PM

Updated 909 days ago

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Police arrested four people in connection to allegations of abuse and neglect at a day care in Westport.
Westport police say they launched an investigation into Bright Beginnings Early Childhood Program on Weston Road in mid-June after receiving a call from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.
DCF had opened a case into teacher Suzette Virgo after another employee reported Virgo was mistreating infants in her care. Virgo was fired from Bright Beginnings in June after DCF followed up.
Now she's charged with risk of injury to a child.
Virgo's arrest warrant claims she was aggressive with kids and is seen on video "firmly seating them on the floor and pulling one child up by the arm to hold." Police also say she kicked a ball at one of them.
A former coworker told them, "Virgo commented that it was OK because the camera would make it look like another child threw the ball."
She's also accused of flicking infants in the head, leaving them to cry for long periods of time, and calling them demeaning names because of their weight.
Kelliegh Cantiello was the assistant teacher in Virgo's classroom and told police, "Virgo would force feed bottles and most of the time it was done in the blind spot that the cameras didn't pick up on."
Cantiello, Bright Beginnings owner Ridhita Gupta and former director Ayshia Jaeger are all charged with failing to report possible abuse or neglect to DCF, which is required by law.
Their arrest warrants show the employee who went to DCF brought her complaint to Jaeger first but didn't think Jaeger took it seriously. That employee had only worked at Bright Beginnings for a week and said she never went back.
News 12 called Bright Beginnings but the woman who answered said all she could say was "no comment." News 12 also emailed the day care but did not get a response.
All four women turned themselves into police within the past week. Virgo posted $50,000 bond and is set to appear in court in Stamford on Jan. 5. Cantiello, Gupta and Jaeger were each released after posting $25,000 bond. Gupta will be in court on Dec. 30, Cantiello on Jan. 4 and Jaegar on Jan. 5.
The arrest warrants also say DCF found several violations at Bright Beginnings when the agency investigated in June. As a result, the day care was ordered to complete a Corrective Action Plan.


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