Fort Detrick child care provider accused of child abuse

Apr. 28—A Frederick woman was charged with child abuse after she allegedly dislocated the elbow of a 3-year-old child under her supervision at a Fort Detrick day care.

Melida Nohemy Mattern, 51, was charged with second-degree child abuse and second-degree assault for an incident that reportedly occurred Feb. 16 at the child development center in the 1700 block of Ditto Avenue.

Matter is on administrative leave while the “appropriate action is being determined,” Fort Detrick spokeswoman Lanessa Hill said Wednesday. The garrison is responsible for hiring the center’s employees.

Hill said the director of the child development center was terminated shortly after the incident and the assistant director left on her own. The facility cares for 70 children and is open to Department of Defense employees, according to Hill.

“We’re holding leadership accountable,” Hill said. “That’s just one of those topics that’s not taken lightly.”

When reached for comment Tuesday, Mattern said she was not available to talk and the call disconnected. A second phone call to Matter was not returned by Wednesday afternoon.

There was no defense attorney listed in online court records for Matttern’s Circuit Court case as of late Wednesday afternoon.

Fort Detrick police responded to the child development center Feb. 16 for a report of a child care provider injuring a child, according to charging documents. The boy was taken to Frederick Health Hospital for his injury, police wrote.

A detective reviewed video footage that showed Matttern telling the child earlier to stop playing with his fork while he ate, charging documents state. Police wrote that the detective did not see the child “playing with his fork,” but reportedly saw the child eating his lunch on the video.

The video alleged showed Mattern take the child’s fork and plate, grab him by one wrist, start to lift him out of his chair, then grab him by both wrists and lift him out of the chair, according to charging documents. The boy appeared to try to sit down, then started crying, police wrote.

Mattern and the boy went to the restroom, out of the camera’s view, but police said the boy’s intensifying cries could still be heard in the video.

The Frederick Police Department took over the case and interviewed Mattern at her home Feb. 25.

She told police the boy dropped down as she started to lift him up, then he began to cry and she him to the bathroom, charging documents took state. Matttern told police she checked him after the incident, did not see any visible injuries, helped him lie down for a nap and contacted the front desk for assistance.

Matter was released on her own recognizance after charges were filed, online court records show.

Matttern was one of nine people recently indicted by a Frederick County grand jury in unrelated incidents, according to a Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office news release from Friday.

Other people indicted, according to the release:

— Titus Lamont Diggs Jr., 20, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, was indicted on charges of armed robbery, second-degree assault and theft of property valued between $100 and $1,500.

— Blake Anthony Nivens, 26, of Frederick, was indicted on multiple charges, including possession with intent to distribute cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana; using a firearm in a drug trafficking crime and possessing a mask with a felony conviction. A supplemental indictment included charges of possession with intent to distribute psilocybin (mushrooms) and alprazolam.

— Kristen Lynn Fritch, 34, of Stephens City, Virginia, was indicted on charges including possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and cocaine, and driving under the influence.

— Justin Matthew Thrasher, 24, of Cumberland, was indicted on charges including using a firearm in a felony or crime, using a violent in a drug trafficking crime, possessing heroin and fentanyl with intent to distribute, and possessing cocaine.

— Jonathan D. Imes, 45, of Frederick, was indicted on charges of first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

— William Anthony Williams, 35, of Frederick, was indicted on charges of first- and second-degree assault, theft of property valued between $100 and $1,500, robbery and obstruction.

— Curtis Reed Weller, 52, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, was indicted on charges including possessing a large amount of fentanyl; conspiring to do the same; possessing fentanyl, and a mix of fentanyl and heroin with intent to distribute; possessing cocaine; and obstructing and hindering.

— Ian Webster Taylor, 31, of Frederick, was indicted as a co-defendant of Weller. His charges include possessing a large amount of fentanyl; conspiring to do the same; possessing fentanyl, and a mix of fentanyl and heroin with intent to distribute/distributing; and possessing cocaine.

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter:

@MaryGraceKeller

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.