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McCandless daycare director accused of abusing multiple children

<i>KDKA via CNN Newsource</i><br/>A daycare director at the Gloworms Academy in McCandless has been arrested and charged with abusing multiple children.
KDKA via CNN Newsource
A daycare director at the Gloworms Academy in McCandless has been arrested and charged with abusing multiple children.

By Mike Darnay

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    McCANDLESS, Pennsylvania (KDKA) — The director of a daycare facility in McCandless has been charged with abusing multiple children.

According to court paperwork, Melissa Populo, 38, of McKees Rocks, is facing charges stemming from the alleged abuse of at least five children at the Gloworms Academy located along Harmony Drive in McCandless Township.

McCandless Police say that the alleged abuse was reported to them earlier this year by an employee at the daycare facility. The employee told police that they were watching video from the classrooms and witnessed Populo hit a 14-month-old child in the face for not eating.

McCandless Police then began to investigate the alleged abuse.

When asked about the incident that the employee reported, Populo denied the allegations, saying that she would never hit a child, adding that she had never hit any children while working at Gloworms Academy.

Police say that a staff member from the daycare told investigators that they were aware of numerous incidents they saw personally or heard from others involving Populo abusing children.

Several of these incidents were caught on camera and consisted of various types of abuse, including slapping a child in the face with an open hand, grabbing a child by the arm, shoving food into a child’s mouth, and dragging a child by the arm.

Populo is facing five counts of endangering the welfare of children stemming from the alleged incidents that were caught on camera.

According to court records, Populo is set to face a judge for arraignment this morning at 9:00 a.m.

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