Two teen babysitters are facing child endangerment and assault charges after a disturbing video was reportedly posted online that appeared to show them laughing while putting a crying baby into a refrigerator and shutting the door, authorities said.
The girls, whose names were not released because they’re juveniles, were babysitting the infant in Danvers on Monday when the shocking video was posted to Snapchat, according to published reports.
The video, which was picked up by news outlets around the country, appeared to show the girls putting the crying infant sideways into a shelf inside the refrigerator, closing the door and laughing while the baby can be heard screaming inside.
After several seconds, the girls can be seen taking the baby back out and one of them can be heard laughing and saying, “See she’s OK.”
Essex District Attorney spokesman Steve O’Connell said Danvers and Swampscott cops were notified Monday of an incident involving an infant, and the two girls were placed under arrest.
The girls were arraigned Tuesday in Essex Juvenile Court in Salem on charges of child endangerment and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
“The refrigerator was the dangerous weapon,” O’Connell told the Herald yesterday.
In a statement yesterday, a spokesperson for the state’s Department of Children and Families said the agency “received a report on this situation and is investigating in collaboration with law enforcement.”
A Swampscott woman believed to be a relative of the baby declined to comment outside her home last night.
In an interview with WCVB-TV (Ch. 5), the baby’s mother said one of the girls was her niece.
“My daughter is OK, I want everyone to know that I was not aware of the situation and it’s very unfortunate,” she said. “It’s very foolish. … They didn’t do it trying to harm my daughter, they did it as, like, playing around.”
The mother added, “I will no longer be leaving my children with my niece or her friend ever again in my life.”
That the girls were said to have recorded the alleged abuse on video and decided to post it online came as a shock to many Danvers residents.
“It’s really disgusting,” said Al Mailloux, 72, of nearby Lynn. “What happened to the morals of kids? I just don’t understand. I just don’t know what these two were thinking. Obviously, they weren’t.”
A man who would identify himself only as Joe, 44, of Peabody, said he hoped the girls would face serious consequences.
“They should be punished,” he said. “The justice system needs to do something.”