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Police Investigate Howe Caregiver for Child Abuse

Howe police, responding to a complaint from a grandparent, are filing charges against an 18-year-old caregiver at The School Zone Academy in Howe.

In late December, the grandparent of a 3-year-old being cared for at the academy came in to report what she termed “mis-handling” of her grandchild, describing the caregiver pushing her grandchild aggressively back down on a mat as the child was attempting to get up.

Howe police contacted Academy owner Kathleen Todd, who Police Chief Carl Hudman described as “being extremely cooperative from the very beginning,” to pull and view security tapes of the daycare. While police were not able to locate on video the described incident, they did find another incidence of abuse. Howe officers identified the child — another 3-year-old — and contacted the parents. They found bruising on the child, though the injuries were not indicative of serious bodily harm or life threatening.

“The evidence did show what was obvious to us as inappropriate handling of another child,” explained Hudman.

After going through hours of video, police called in the caregiver, 18-year-old Pacie Sarlls, for questioning. They also took statements from family members of the injured child and from Todd and charged Sarlls with injury to a child.

On Tuesday morning, Howe police filed the case with the Grayson County District Attorney’s office. The DA’s office will investigate the case and decide to pursue further or not. Sarlls has not been arrested in the matter.