Local News

Day care owner charged with child abuse

Posted July 20, 2009 1:46 p.m. EDT
Updated July 21, 2009 8:58 a.m. EDT

— A woman who runs an in-home day care center has been charged with felony child abuse and been ordered not to operate the center until the case is resolved.

Cheryl Alston, 53, the owner of Cheryl's Infant & Toddler Preschool at 202 Jubilee Drive, was arrested last week after a child suffered head injuries, said Sgt. Troy Comar of the Orange County Sheriff's Office. He declined to elaborate on how the child was injured.

The injury was initially reported to paramedics on May 1 as a cardiac arrest, and the child was taken to UNC Hospitals. After physicians diagnosed the head injury, authorities investigated the case and charged Alston, Comar said.

"It was intentional physical harm that caused the condition," Comar said.

An attorney for the child's family said the child, who is 7 months old, suffered massive brain injuries and lost his vision. The family has filed suit against Alston in Durham, attorney John McCabe said.

The state Division of Child Development suspended the license for Alston's day care on May 4, officials said.

Alston was released on a $60,000 bond, but a condition of her release is that she not care for any minors. Her next court date is set for Aug. 3.