Track Hurricane Maria’s path with the FOX43 Hurricane Tracker

Daycare owner hit with shovel in effort to stop drunk dad from taking his kids

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HELENA, Mont. — A daycare owner was hit in the face with a shovel last week after she refused to allow three children to go home with their father, who does not have legal custody and was drunk, according to authorities.

According to a gofundme page, the daycare owner was identified as Martha McClure of Ronan.

Officials said Francis Joseph Jackson, 31, showed up at McClure’s daycare facility with an unidentified woman last week.

McClure was aware Jackson’s parental rights had been suspended and that he was not allowed contact with the children. She told authorities she could smell alcohol on Jackson.

McClure was escorting Jackson from the building when, “at some point the male struck her,” Lake County Sheriff Don Bell told the Billings Gazette. Jackson then began throwing toys, including a tricycle, at the window in an attempt to get back inside the daycare center, according to the Associated Press.

McClure went outside the daycare where she fought with Jackson. Moments later, Jackson’s girlfriend hit her with the shovel. The suspects then fled.

It is unknown whether any children witnessed the alleged assault.

McClure had surgery on an eye on Monday “and has a long road of healing ahead of her,” according to the gofundme page.

Francis Joseph Jackson, 31, was taken into custody in Washington on Monday, according to the Billings Gazette. The man’s girlfriend, who is also accused of assaulting McClure, remains at large.