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Toddler dead after Bronx daycare provider steps on him in bizarre wrestling game

Licensed child care worker charged in toddler's death after stepping on child.
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A New York City woman has been arraigned on charges of manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child after she admitted to stepping on the toddler who was in her care. The licensed daycare provider admitted to stepping on the little boy three times after she threw him to the floor during a wrestling match, according to MSN News on Aug. 25.

Athena Skeeter, 40, told police that after 20-month-old Cardell Williamson was dropped off by his father at her Bronx home she was wrestling with the child on the bed. She lifted him off the bed by one arm and one leg and put him on the floor.

According to the New York Daily News, Skeeter admits to cops that she threw the toddler on the floor and stepped on him as a part of her wrestling moves. This was done while she was playing a game of wrestling with the toddler.

The court documents state that after the child was on the floor this is when Skeeter first stepped on the child, putting her foot on his stomach. She said she didn’t use “full force” while stepping on him.

Then Skeeter took her own son and put him on top of Cardell and stepped on his stomach. It was after that she found that Cardell didn’t act the same. He threw up and he kept tilting his head.

She then brought him into the bathroom and put him in the tub so she could put cold water on his face. Then she left the room for a “short time" and when she returned Cardell had his face down in the water and the water was steaming, she told the police.

She told police that the child had burns on his arm and on his face. When police arrived after receiving a 911 call, they found Cardell on the bed struggling to breathe. He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Carlyle Williamson, 56, Cardell’s father is devastated saying, “She was supposed to provide child care. All she provided was the death of my child.” Williamson said that he was forced to take his son to Skeeter by welfare officials as a part of a back-to-work program that he qualified for under the rules of the city welfare.

Skeeter has been a state-licensed daycare provider since 2005 and maintains that she was only “wrestling with Cardell.” The 40-year-old child care provider is in police custody and she is due to be back in court on Thursday.

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