Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
-Patrol Operations Bureau
Ashley Richards (Suspect - Arrested)
Address: 1275 Belcher Road, Lot 108, Dunedin
Charge: Felony Child Abuse
The victim was a 4-year-old minor at the time of the incident. Per Florida Statute 119.071(2)(h)1, no further details will be released that would tend to identify the victim.
PINELLAS COUNTY – On August 10, 2022 at approximately 12:52 p.m., deputies arrested a preschool teacher for child abuse on a student.
Deputies responded to Kindercare Learning Center, located at 1990 Main Street in Dunedin, after reports of a child abuse in progress. During the course of the investigation, deputies discovered that a witness overheard screaming coming from the playground of the preschool. The witness observed 32-year-old Ashley Richards yelling at the victim and repeatedly punching the child with both an open and closed fist to the back and side of the head. Richards was also observed pushing the child to the ground and yelling “Do you want me to hit you?” The incident was captured on the witness’ cell phone. Richards has been employed as a preschool teacher at Kindercare Learning Center since March of 2021 and has been placed on Administrative Leave as a result of the incident.
Richards was charged with one count of Felony Child Abuse and transported to the Pinellas County Jail.
The investigation continues.
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