GREENWOOD, IN (WISH) — A cell phone video is grabbing national attention after a 7-month-old baby is seen on camera getting dumped with gallons of water on her head.
It happened at the splash pad on Lincoln Street in Greenwood on June 15.
The woman who recorded the incident on her phone claims she and several other people saw the babysitter put the baby underneath the bucket of water multiple times.
“She had the baby underneath the bucket, the same bucket actually, and was kind of like leaning back but kind of making sure the baby was staying there,” said Desiree Howell, who recorded the incident.
Howell said some people were so disturbed by the incident someone even called police. The 12-second video recorded by Howell has now been seen a million times on Facebook.
“Honestly, I had no clue it would take off like this. I was just posting it hoping to find the mom,” Howell said. “I found the mom within two hours; after that it just went crazy. I know it was worldwide by Friday.”
Howell, a mother of four, told 24-Hour News 8 in a phone interview she took her kids to the splash pad. She said she couldn’t help but notice the baby and babysitter.
“I was slowly walking by like, really is this really happening right now?” she said. “I was just watching and observing her and the more activity that she did with the baby I realized she was not handling the baby the proper way.”
Howell said several people even tried talking to the babysitter.
“Things were said to her; she just ignored us,” Howell explained. “I was completely shocked. My mouth dropped. I didn’t know what to do.”
Howell claims the babysitter did more than just put the baby underneath the bucket of water.
“There was another instance where she was sitting the baby like right by the sprinklers that come out of the ground,” she said. “The baby was being directly splashed in the face crying the whole time.”
According to an incident report, Greenwood police showed up after receiving a call for a welfare check. An officer noted in the report that the child appeared fine and nothing was unusual. He spoke with the babysitter.
“He pulled her aside and spoke with her,” Howell said. “He told me that, he basically said that she was being watched, that somebody had said she was getting a little kind of rough with the baby. He would want her to watch what she was doing, but other than that he left because she was not doing anything at the moment. She even took the baby out of the water.”
Howell said she did not step in that day, afraid the babysitter would leave before police got there.
“Besides contacting the police, I didn’t know what else to do because I had my own kids there and I didn’t want to resort to anything getting physical or violent with other children being present,” she said. “So I took a video posted it on Facebook and I found the mom within two hours.”
Greenwood police said the case has been referred to the Department of Child Services. A DOC spokesperson said they could not talk about the case.