ROME, Ga. - Rome Police said the owner of a local daycare is accused of leaving a 5-year-old special needs child unattended on a daycare van for up to two hours.
Debra Brooks McDaniel, 58, of Rome, was booked into the Floyd County Jail on charges of felony second-degree cruelty to children and misdemeanor reckless conduct.
McDaniel, owner of the Superkids Early Learning Center, is accused of parking the van at her home without checking to see if anyone was aboard, according to the arrest report. Police said she picked up all the children from their homes that day and brought them to the daycare before driving the van to her residence.
She then left the home and officers said Rome city workers found the child walking around the area. The child was okay and transported back home to his grandmother's house.
"I'm mad... because of what could have happened," said grandmother Jennifer Penny, who identified her grandson as Kye. "It could have turned really bad."
Penny said her grandson suffered separation anxiety from the ordeal, but said she forgives McDaniel, who police said admitted fault and responsibility for the ordeal.
"I know intentionally, she would never hurt Kye," Penny said.
McDaniel was released Monday morning on bond.