Golden Corral Workers Say Richmond Daycare Left Child in Restaurant

(File photo)

A Richmond daycare center is under fire after workers at a West End Golden Corral say they left a 3-year-old child alone in the restaurant for 20 minutes.

But workers at Happy People Child Development Center say this has totally been blown out of proportion, and the child was never left behind.

“You don’t do that with somebody’s child,” Lexius Guerrero, a server at the restaurant, told 8News reporter Claudia Rupcich.

Servers say they noticed something was wrong when the boy started wandering around.

“I don’t know how the little boy got over to the other side of the restaurant, but he was over there talking to the table for about 15-20 minutes,” Guerrero added.

Happy People Child Development Center
Happy People Child Development Center

Daycare supervisors deny it ever happened.

They say nine kids were eating, but it was impossible for a child to get up on his own.

“No child never got out their seat,” Monica Trent, a teacher at the daycare who was at the restaurant said. “And if a child did got up it was with a teacher, it wasn’t unsupervised.”

When they left, Trent does say they thought the 3-year-old boy was with the driver, but as soon as they realized he wasn’t, they went back in to get him. She says they left him alone for no more than 3 minutes.

“We never even got in the car, that’s how quick it was,” she said.

But Guerrero said, “That’s not the case, the little boy was running–chilling in whole different part of the restaurant not even near his party, and you know, they didn’t even notice that he was gone.”

Guerrero says she plans on calling social services about the incident.

“You’re a daycare, this is a kid, this is somebody’s child, that you just left in a restaurant, you know? With all the things that go on these days with kids getting kidnapped and murdered, like you’re responsible for this child,” she said.

“I’m not worried at all, we provide great service to our kids, our parents don’t complain, I think we’re good,” said Trent.

The daycare did notify parents of the kids who were on the field trip, they say as a response to the news coverage, but maintain they did nothing wrong.

This is not the first incident involving the development center this year. According to the Virginia Department of Social Services, a complaint was filed and a violation was documented on January 5th. Four other violations were filed during 2014.

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