YMCA is Houston's leading child care provider, so it's surprising to many that one of its employees would be fired and criminally charged for allegedly hurting a five-year-old boy.
Robert Jackson, 24, is the summer camp counselor accused of repeatedly kicking one of his young campers at the Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA.
"It's very concerning and I'll definitely ask the management about it next time we come," said parent Emily Garza.
Court documents show in July a five-year-old boy asked to play with Jackson. But the youth leader didn't want to play. The little boy told investigators Jackson "kicked him five times on the right side (and) stomped him twice," adding Jackson did it because "he was mad and didn't want to play anymore." Another YMCA camp staffer witnessed the entire thing.
"We take our responsibility with children so seriously," YMCA spokesperson Trazanna Moreno said.
YMCA leaders say Jackson was immediately fired. He had worked at the center since 2009, had clean background checks and never got a complaint.
We went to Jackson's house, but no one came to the door. His neighbors all told me he's a nice, church-going young man.
Still, for parents, it's sad news to hear someone you trust with your child could stand accused of hurting one so badly.
"If you're going to be in that position, you should be careful how you're going to treat children," said parent Gwen Moss. "Kicking a kid like that is not necessary."
The little boy sustained some injuries on his face, arms, back and stomach. Jackson is charged with injury to a child, which is a felony. Find Sonia on Facebook at ABC13SoniaAzad or on Twitter at @abc13soniaazad
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