PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Latoye Sutter got a message Thursday that no mother wants to get while she’s at work away from her child. At 9:03 p.m., Sutter received a text stating that her son had been scratched in the face by another child. But it wasn’t the text that sent her heart racing.
“I asked her to send me some photos. It took her a minute to send them back, but when I saw the photos I left immediately,” she recalled.
Sutter was shocked to see her 18-month-old son Dakota Hudson had been attacked.
“When I made it to the house, she [the daycare owner] was holding my son. He had cream all over his face. She explained to me that she had stepped away to light the fireplace, and when she came back my son was crying and covered in blood,” the mother explained.
Sutter was originally told the attack happened in just a few seconds, but was later told it could have go one for five minutes. Sutter was told the child that attacked her son was four-years-old.
“She said my son was laying on his cot sleeping, and the other child was next to him on his cot on the iPad when she stepped out of the room. She said they were okay... and the next thing she knew my son was crying, and when she came back over and turned the light on my son was standing there covered in blood," Sutter said the daycare owner told her.
The daycare owner operates the business out of her home in Pascagoula.
“You can’t even put it into words,” the horrified mother said.
The police department and the Department of Human Services were called while Dakota was being checked out at a local hospital for his injuries.
The Mississippi State Department of Health was called by DHS.
Spokesperson for the Department of Health Liz Sharlot said, “This facility is not licensed, nor has it applied for a license. We are currently investigating the matter. It is important to remember that not all facilities need to be licensed, it just depends on the circumstances."
According to Sutter, one of the responding officers told her, “It looks like your son was mauled by an animal.”
“He has some cream that he has to put in his eyes twice a day because he was also scratched in his eyes,” Sutter said.
Though Dakota suffers from obvious external injuries, his mom says he’s also suffering internally.
“He’s a little withdrawn. He’s clingy. If you get up to go to another room, he follows you. He doesn’t just venture off like he used to by himself,” she said.
Sutter said Dakota was only at the daycare for about a month before the incident happened. She said she chose this particular daycare because it was the only local one that offered childcare after normal business hours.
The mother works at night.
According to Sutter, the child who attacked her son was previously put out of another daycare for similar behavior.
“And you knew this child had these types of issues, there’s no reason why he should have been left alone even for a second with a one-year-old,” Sutter said.
While the mother still doesn’t exactly know what happened to her 18-month-old son, she feels sure of one thing.
“For whatever reason the child did it, the child did it in a rage.”
Dakota’s attack has gone viral through a Facebook post that has been shared more than 7,000 times and received 200+ comments.
No charges have been filed against the daycare owner or the daycare. Police are still looking into the matter. Sutter said she was told by DHS that they are going to file a complaint with the Mississippi Health Department.