Daycare teacher brutalised while trying to protect 3 toddler siblings from their father

Martha McClure had surgery for her injuries Monday and is still struggling with double vision, which is part of the injuries sustained during the attack, according to her sister-in-law, Marlene Heath.

Martha Maclure brutalised while trying to protect 3 toddlers from their father

A Montana daycare owner was punched and hit in the face with a shovel after refusing to hand over three young siblings to their father, who was drunk and lacked legal custody.

Martha McClure had surgery for her injuries Monday and is still struggling with double vision, which is part of the injuries sustained during the attack, according to her sister-in-law, Marlene Heath.

Lake County officials say McClure was caring for Francis Joseph Jackson's three children, all under the age of 4, when he showed up at her Ronan daycare center with an unidentified woman last week.

McClure knew Salish and Kootenai Tribal Child Protective Services had suspended Jackson's parental rights and he was not allowed to have contact with them.

Deputy county attorney, James Lapotka, wrote in an affidavit that Jackson, 31, "has been in an ongoing CPS case for the past three years" and was served court papers saying the agency had legal custody of his children.

McClure reported she could smell alcohol on Jackson, that he was angry when she wouldn't let him pick up his children, and that he threatened to assault her in front of the kids at Martha's Mini Daycare.

She was able to physically remove Jackson from the daycare center and lock the door but he began throwing toys, including a tricycle, at the window in an apparent attempt to get back inside.

McClure went outside, where she and Jackson fought until a woman hit McClure in the face with a snow shovel, allowing Jackson to hit McClure in the face, knocking her down.

The suspects later fled without the children.

Jackson was arrested in Usk, Washington, on the Kalispel Indian Reservation, where faces aggravated burglary charges in the October 7 incident.

He waived extradition Tuesday during a court hearing in Pend Oreille County with his bond set at $100,000, and he is expected to be returned to Montana later in the week, a jail officer said.

Charges are pending against the woman accused of hitting McClure in the face with a shovel, since she is yet to be arrested, and her name has not been released.

Meanwhile, Heath says McClure is recovering from surgery for an eye injury.

A photo on a gofundme.com page set up by McClure's stepdaughter shows the daycare owner with two black eyes and other facial injuries.

"She's still in high spirits, positive and trying to get better so she can get back to her (daycare) kids," Heath said.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh