Do They Sell Mace at Walmart?

It looks like Walmart might need to start handing out baseball ball bats to sleep-deprived mothers as they walk through the front doors. Not to use on their children, of course – apparently us mothers need to defend our offspring from grouchy psychos whilst shopping for corn puffs:

Stranger at Walmart slaps crying child

Associated Press

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Police said a 61-year-old man annoyed with a crying 2-year-old girl at a suburban Atlanta Walmart slapped the child several times after warning the toddler’s mother to keep her quiet.

A police report said after the stranger 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 today was unanswered.

Authorities said 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 said 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 today 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 down.” 

Gwinnett County Sheriff / Associated Press

Gwinnett County Sheriff / Associated Press

Now, I don’t even shop at Walmart. But if I did, and a snarling man with bushy eyebrows came toward my toddler, you can bet I’d grab the nearest bat, or Nascar Collector’s Edition Raceway Set, or can of foaming rat poison, and go mommy medieval. Who the hell do you think you are, crazy angry man?
After three years of crime and court reporting at a metro newspaper, I’m a firm believer that the punishment should fit the crime. So let’s put this guy in a nice padded room littered with less-than-fresh diapers and piles of crushed goldfish crackers, hook up a cheap Walmart stereo system and pipe in a 24-hour live recording of the nearest daycare center. Have a nice three years, sucka!

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