Local activist faces child endangerment charge

Local News

DES MOINES – A local anti-violence activist is behind bars on a child endangerment charge.

46-year-old Calvetta Williams is the founder of the group Mothers Against Violence. Police say she was babysitting a child last month in her in-home day care. The parents of that young girl noticed she had several injuries to her face and arms.

Police say Williams turned herself in and was arrested early Wednesday morning, after a warrant for her arrest went out on Friday. Now, authorities – and neighbors – are trying to figure out what happened.

Mark Walter is a neighbor who lives across the street from Williams. He says he is shocked with the accusations against Williams.
 
“I never saw any indication that they were in fear,” Walter said. “I never saw any problem with the children being abused.”
 
Walter says Williams always seemed to have a good relationship with the kids she looked after. But now, with this charge against Williams, he is questioning interactions he has had with those kids.
 
“A lot of times when they would come over and ask for a drink or a snack, especially last summer, they would say, well we can’t go in the house,” Walter said. “We thought it was curious.”
 
Williams is facing one charge of child endangerment causing bodily injury. Police say Williams was watching a young girl at her in-home day care in mid-July. The parents of that child filed a report, saying their daughter had severe scratches to her face and an eye injury when they picked her up from the home.
 
“Definitely things as the investigation went on, our detectives were pretty acutely aware that these weren’t things that were consistent with a fall or bumping into something,” said Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department. “They were definitely injuries that required an explanation.”
 
But when asked what happened, Williams had nothing to say. The affidavit says, “The suspect has no explanation for these injuries,” but police are still pressing for answers.
 
“The allegation isn’t that she inflicted the injury on the child,” Sgt. Parizek said. “The allegation is that she was responsible for making sure that child was safe and didn’t follow through with that.”
 
Now, with uncertainty still surrounding the incident, neighbors do not know what to think.
 
“The few times that I actually got to talk to her in person, I never though that she was one that would be physically violent,” Walter said.
 
Calvetta Williams remains in the Polk County Jail as on Wednesday night without bond. She is expected to be in front of a judge soon.

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