GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — A babysitter seen in a cell phone video that grabbed national headlines is sharing her side of the story for the first time.
The video, which has been viewed more than a million times on social media, shows gallons of water dumped on 7-month-old Annora. It happened at a splash pad in Greenwood almost two weeks ago.
Lisa Cravens said she is heartbroken and devastated after seeing the video online. She said it was never her intention to do anything bad to hurt the baby.
“It just hurts. It feels like someone took my child. Even though she wasn’t mine, I treated her as if she was mine,” she said.
She said accusations of mistreatment are false, and now she wants to clear her name. The 12-second cell phone video cost Cravens her job.
“I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, there’s a bucket let me put the baby right here’,” she said. “That’s not what I was thinking.”
She said she put the baby in that spot thinking she could splash around. But when the water came pouring down, she quickly realized it was a mistake.
“It scared the crap out of me. It scared me probably as much as it did her (the baby),” Cravens said. “I mean it scared me, and, you know, I wasn’t expecting it.”
As seen in the video, Cravens immediately grabbed Annora. She said what people saw was simply an accident and nothing more. She said claims that she put the baby under the bucket more than once are simply not true.
“I’m not that person, you know, that people are calling me. I’m pretty sure I’ve been called every name in the book,” she said. “But, you know, they don’t know me and I don’t know those people either.”
Cravens said the messages on social media are hurtful. She said she even received death threats.
“I don’t even know him and he doesn’t know me,” she said. “Well he told me I better watch out and he’s going to find me.”
Cravens said she hasn’t been sleeping just thinking about the whole situation.
“I’ve been sick like three times. I’ve been to the emergency room,” she said. “It just affected me in everything; and all the name calling and people bashing me.”
Cravens had been watching Annora since March.
“We would always sing ABC’s all the time and my kids would be like, ‘Really mom?’” she said. “I’m like, ‘It’s for the baby, and I did this when you guys were babies.’”
Not only did Cravens become attached, she said her three children did too. She said she’s now doing her best as a single mother to provide for them.
“I care more about, you know, other people than myself — especially when it comes to children and babies, I put them before me,” she said.
Cravens said she lost her husband to a heart attack years ago. He served in the military for nine years and was deployed twice.
“We’re just going to move forward and I’m going to do the best that I can even harder and better at taking care of what’s important to me,” she said.
As for the investigation, Cravens said she talked to the Department of Child Services last week. She said she’s cooperating and has nothing to hide.