Thursday, September 3, 2009

Irate Shopper Slaps Crying Toddler, 2, Several Times To "Shut Her Up."

Stranger slaps crying child at store

Sep 02 2009

(AP Photo/Gwinnett County Sheriff)

This undated booking photo provided Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009 by the Gwinnett County Sheriff in Stone Mountain, Ga. shows Roger Stephens. Police say the 61-year-old man, annoyed with a crying 2-year-old girl at a Wal-Mart slapped the toddler in the face several times at a suburban Atlanta Wal-Mart after warning the toddler's mother to keep her quiet.

A police report says after the man hit the girl at least four times, he said: "See, I told you I would shut her up."

Roger Stephens of Stone Mountain is charged with felony cruelty to children. It was unclear if he had an attorney and a telephone call to his home Wednesday was unanswered.

Authorities say the girl and her mother were shopping Monday when the toddler began crying. The police report says Stephens approached the mother and said, "If you don't shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you."

Authorities say Stephens then grabbed the 2-year-old and slapped her. The child began screaming and Stephens was arrested. Police say an examination showed the girl's face was slightly red.

A call to the girl's mother, identified in the police report as Sonya Mathews of Grayson, was answered by a woman who identified herself as Sabrina Mathis, the victim's aunt.

Mathis said Wednesday that the girl is doing fine.

"As of today, she has really forgotten about it," Mathis said. "She's been playing."

Mathis said the girl's mother was shaken up over the incident.

"She's as well as to be expected," Mathis said. "Right now she's just trying to calm.

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