Day school worker accused of leaving 7-year-old in park

Posted at 6:53 PM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 19:08:15-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A day school worker accused of forgetting a 7-year-old at a Chesterfield park last week is now facing felony child neglect charges.

CBS 6 has confirmed 48-year-old Tonya Denise was a counselor at the Metropolitan Day School on North Avenue in Richmond.

Chesterfield police said Oliver left the boy alone in the E. Garland Dodd Park in Enon last Friday.

Detectives said the child was left behind for 20 minutes before workers returned to pick him up. He was not harmed.

E. Garland Dodd Park

E. Garland Dodd Park

Purcell Branch, the school's chief executive director, said Oliver worked at Metropolitan for three months.

Branch explained that the school provides treatment and programs for students with behavioral problems, but declined to discuss last Friday’s incident.

Officials with Associated Educational Services of Virginia, Inc., which runs the school, released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

"We are deeply concerned about the incident that occurred on Friday August 26th, when a child in our care was left unattended at R. Garland Park for 20 minutes. We are cooperating with authorities who are conducting an investigation. We are also conducting an internal investigation and reviewing our procedures. We have never had an incident like this occur in our over 30-year history. We are committed to immediately putting into place any additional procedures that will help prevent a repeat of incidents of this nature."

Tonya Denise

Tonya Denise

Court records listed a Henrico home off Parham Road as Tonya Oliver’s address.

A construction worker greeted CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones at the home saying Oliver rented the home for a short time, but no longer lives at the residence.

Court records indicated that Tonya Oliver is now unemployed and living in North Carolina with her parents.

Court papers also Oliver was in the process of moving before the alleged incident. She came to Virginia from North Carolina to be served with the warrant.

Oliver is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 6 at 9 a.m.

Metropolitan Day School

Metropolitan Day School

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