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Video: Mom of tot tossed in washer: I’m pressing charges

  1. Closed captioning of: Mom of tot tossed in washer: I’m pressing charges

    >> much. sakia david is with us along with her son, saimeir bush. good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> you first saw this videotape on midnight tuesday. when you recognized your child was being put into that washing machine , what was your reaction?

    >> i was, like, i know that ain't my child. i just kept saying, "i know that ain't my child." i was, like, oh, my god. i didn't know until the next morning until the police came knocking on my door.

    >> when they confirmed that it was your son?

    >> that it was my child.

    >> now, looking at him now, i see a little mark left. that's the last bit of physical evidence that you can find.

    >> yes.

    >> of what happened to him. but are you concerned? are you comfortable, or do you think that he needs more medical tests ?

    >> i think he needs more medical tests .

    >> are you worried?

    >> i want to make sure that everything is good because he was in there for at least five minutes.

    >> five minutes?

    >> at least five minutes.

    >> is that how you timed it on the tape?

    >> that's how they timed it on the tape.

    >> and sandra , the woman who was baby-sitting, you say you don't know the man on the tape and that sandra told you that saimeir had fallen down a set of stairs.

    >> that he fell down two steps.

    >> that's what she said?

    >> yes.

    >> so what do you want to say to sandra this morning?

    >> i just want to tell sandra , this is not over because everybody said on the news that i wasn't pressing charges, and i am.

    >> police have done their investigation. think say there wasn't an intent, that they were -- that this was a game of peekaboo and that they weren't planning to file charges. are you saying that you're thinking about filing charges, nevertheless?

    >> yes, yes.

    >> what do you want? why do you want to file charges?

    >> because i left my child in her custody. she sat there and watched him put my baby in a washer. so it was both of their fault. i don't care how much they say it's not her fault. that's her fault, too.

    >> saimeir's father is incarcerated. does he know about this?

    >> yes.

    >> did they tell him about it?

    >> they were in contact with him yesterday.

    >> what do you know about his reaction to this?

    >> he was going off. he says he wants charges filed.

    >> negligence? what is the charge? what is the thing that you want? do you want her to pay money? do you want her simply to be punished? to go to jail?

    >> to be punished.

    >> punished.

    >> and sent to jail.

    >> i understand that you have met the laundromat -- the guy who saved him, the immigrant, have you met him?

    >> no, i never got to met him -- meet him.

    >> you're smiling. what would you say to him?

    >> i want to thank you. thank you a lot. if it wasn't for him, he probably would have been dead.

    >> so when you saw the drama of him rushing, going in from behind to try to stop the machine, what were you thinking as you were watching the tape?

    >> i don't like discussing the tape.

    >> you don't like discussing the tape?

    >> no. every time i see it, it makes me real sick. they shouldn't have had my baby in there like that.

    >> angry?

    >> angry.

    >> sad?

    >> yes.

    >> mm-hmm. well, he's still talkative, i'll tell you. he's still talkative. and he's beautiful.

    >> thank you.

    >> we're glad your baby is safe.

    >> thank you.

    >> thank you so much for joining us this morning.

    >> you're welcome.

    >> stay well, all right. and good luck with that medical test . let us know what happens.

TODAY contributor
updated 5/24/2012 9:26:47 AM ET 2012-05-24T13:26:47

The single mother of a toddler who was locked in an active washing machine in a video that has gone viral said on TODAY Thursday that she plans on pressing charges against the baby sitter who watched as the ordeal unfolded.

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Sakia David, the mother of 1-year-old Saimeir Bush, did not learn of the incident until she saw the video at midnight Tuesday on the local news after she got home from work. The man and woman seen in the surveillance video from the Federal Laundromat in Camden, N.J., were initially presumed to be the boy’s parents. David identified the woman as the girlfriend of the boy’s father, and still is unable to identify the man who placed her son inside the washing machine while playing a game of peekaboo. 

The door locked shut, and Saimeir tumbled around inside the active machine as the woman screamed for help. An alert employee shoved two tables out of the way and hit a circuit breaker to disable the machine, then pried the door open to remove the boy, who was unhurt except for a few bruises.

‘It’s her fault too’
David told the Philadelphia NBC News affiliate on Wednesday that it was an accident and that she was not pressing charges. But on Thursday, she reversed her stance.

Story: Mom: Boy not with parents when put in washing machine

“I just want to tell Sandra (the baby sitter) this is not over, because everybody said I wouldn’t be pressing charges and I am,’’ David told Ann Curry. “I left my child in her custody. She sat there and watched him put my baby in the washer, so it’s both of their fault. I don’t care how much you say how much it’s not her fault, it’s her fault too.’’

The individuals involved have not been charged with any crime by authorities because the child is unhurt and the case is closed, the Camden Prosecutor’s Office told NBC News. In a subsequent TODAY segment Thursday during which TODAY’s Professionals discussed the incident, lawyer Star Jones opined that taking the case to court would be “not the best use of judicial time and money.”

“In this case, there is no way to show that there was any criminal intent on the part of these two people,’’ trial attorney Rikki Klieman told NBC News. “They were stupid, not criminal.’’

Video: Adults in laundromat video not child’s parents (on this page)

The prosecutor’s office did refer all the information to the state’s Department of Youth and Family Services, but David said Wednesday she wants the two people to “be punished and sent to jail.’’

The boy’s father, who is incarcerated, was informed of the situation Wednesday. “He was going off,’’ David said. “He said he wants charges filed.’’

‘It happened so fast’
The baby sitter told David that Saimeir had suffered bruises from falling down two steps, and was checked out at the local hospital. David saw the video on television and immediately called the baby sitter, who denied it was her in the video. David and the baby sitter have not spoken since that initial denial.

“She just said it wasn't her,’’ David told NBC News. “So I took it like, ‘All right, then it might not be her.’ But when the cops came this morning to my house and told me to come outside, I was like ‘Ughhh. It was my baby.’’’

Video: Man places toddler in washing machine (on this page)

In a phone interview with NBC’s Philadelphia affiliate Wednesday night, the baby sitter, who did not want her identity revealed, said the man in the video is a family friend and that it was an accident.

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“It’s like it happened so fast,’’ she said. “All I know is I heard the click (of the machine), and I turned around, and I saw it and I panicked, like I didn’t know what to do.

“(The man) thought he was playing peekaboo. He didn’t do it intentionally, and I told him, ‘You don’t play like that,’ and now I guess he understands that.’’

Video: Mom of tot tossed in washer: I’m pressing charges (on this page)

David said she plans on taking her son back to the hospital for more tests to make sure he did not suffer any type of head injury. The initial reports taken from the video had the child as being trapped in the machine for just over a minute, but David told Curry that her son was in there for 5 minutes.

David also hopes to get a chance to thank the laundromat employee for his quick thinking.

“I want to say to him, ‘Thank you,’’’ David said. “If it wasn’t for him, my baby probably would be dead now. I don’t like discussing the tape. It just makes me real sad … watching my baby spin around like that.’’

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints


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