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Selena
09-02-2009, 11:00 PM
Wow. What an asshole. Asshat deserves to be arrested. (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0902091slap1.html)

Yes, crying babies are not music to my ears, either. But I would never ever ever consider taking action such as this man did! You definitely crossed the line there, bub. :shame:


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SEPTEMBER 2--Meet Roger Stephens. The Georgia man, 61, was shopping Monday morning at a Walmart in Stone Mountain when he crossed paths with Sonya Matthews and her two-year-old daughter Paige. The child was crying, which apparently greatly perturbed Matthews. "If you don't shut that baby up I will shut her up for you," Stephens warned Matthews, according to a Gwinnett County Police Department report (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0902091slap2.html). Moments later, Stephens acted on his threat, slapping Paige "across the face approximately four or five times." Though the child "started crying and screaming" after being struck, Stephens told Matthews, "See, I told you I would shut her up." After police were summoned, Stephens told a cop that the child was crying "and he just slapped her," according to the report. Stephens was arrested for felony cruelty to children (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0902091slap3.html) and booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond. Paige sustained "slight redness to the face," but was otherwise unharmed.

Kat Sparrow
09-02-2009, 11:06 PM
How dare he slap a complete stranger's defenseless toddler! A child's crying isn't music to anyones ears but that doesn't give you a right to physically assault someone elses kid, or your own for that matter....*grumble*....

RaevynCait
09-02-2009, 11:07 PM
What a jerk! I suspect that if I'd seen him do it, he would have gotten a smack from me, whether it was my child or not!

Isabelle Warwicke
09-02-2009, 11:34 PM
Wow. He's lucky that the Mom didn't kick his ass.

I've told people that their children were being overly annoying in public places before, but gosh, if a stranger were to slap a kid of mine the cops wouldnt find anything left of that person to arrest.

Lis Elfwench
09-03-2009, 12:20 AM
He slapped the child "four or five times"? Where was the mother while this was happening? The FIRST slap, he should have been a dead man walking...

Mistress Morigianna
09-03-2009, 12:24 AM
if mom swats her own kids butt that is one thing- but to slap a kid IN THE FACE who isn't even thiers - they would be so dead! ::crutche::augh:

Andreadoria
09-03-2009, 01:06 AM
If that was me with any of the kids I know he would have been introduced to the floor. I don't have any kids but when I encounter a crying one in a store I try to distract it to stop it crying with peek a boo, or something. Kids Cry that is part of their job description.

I was out raged when I heard this on the 11pm news. Awful evil jerk so glad he was arrested. But the mom should have done something or maybe she was just tooo shocked to act. Me if I would have see it I would have acted ... no need to hit a kid unless it is a parent for extreme cause and effect.

Jayde
09-03-2009, 02:51 AM
Wow, umm....:stunned:

had it been me, I'd have probably decked the guy.

I can't count how many crying children I encounter in just one shopping trip. It makes me wonder if he has a screw loose or something. Where would he have gotten even the remote idea that that kind of behavior (from him) was acceptable? I mean hell, those of us who say we'd have hit him back, probably aren't much better ('cause then we'd be subject to assault charges), but I mean where has he been shopping that he has not encounter crying children before???

Jamianne
09-03-2009, 07:30 AM
Wow. If someone threatened to "shut my kids up", the cops would have been called right then and there and they would have received a warning not to touch my child. After the first slap, there wouldn't be anything left to arrest. Sorry, you attack my children and I *will* defend them by any means necessary.

I'm hoping the mom was just too shocked to react right away. After all, a complete stranger slapping your kid in the face is not something you'd exactly expect.

Selena
09-03-2009, 07:45 AM
Well, I haven't been to a single Walmart yet that didn't have surveillance. Here's to hoping this was all caught on camera so the prosecution can use it in their case.

Torra
09-03-2009, 08:15 AM
While he shouldn't have slapped the child and he definitely crossed the line, I have to say that at places like WalMart, I've seen so-called "parents" who ignore their babies' and small childrens' cries and it goes on for over 30 minutes. That's not acceptable either. This guy should have complained to the store, so they could have told the mother to calm her child down or remove her from the store until she was. Yes, kids cry, but part of the job of the parent is to make sure that a) nothing is wrong, and b) others are inconvenienced as little as possible. You may not have to like another's style of parenting but you are entitled to expect them to use whatever style they've subscribed to.

None of those things applies to this man, though, since he apparently just hauled off and cracked the girl in the face. Unacceptable under the best possible circumstances and he deserves to be punished as far as the law allows. If it had been my mom, she would have given him something to cry about. In a soprano.

Margaret
09-03-2009, 08:26 AM
While he shouldn't have slapped the child and he definitely crossed the line, I have to say that at places like WalMart, I've seen so-called "parents" who ignore their babies' and small childrens' cries and it goes on for over 30 minutes. That's not acceptable either.

Well, ignoring a baby's crying is one thing, but if it is a toddler of 2 or 3 - maybe they are getting taught their own lesson.

Had to do that with Shorty just a few times. We were in WalMart or KMart and she wanted a toy and I told her 'no'. She proceeded to pitch a fit and started crying, which I ignored and proceeded to pick up the things I needed. Every so often I would tell her that crying would not get her what she wanted. If people looked at me with that 'Shut that kid up' look as they passed by, I would tell them "She's learing a temper tantrum does not mean she gets her way." Most of the time they would go from looking grumpy to the "Oh - I get it." look. Got wished "Good luck" a few times too. :wink:

Phoenix McHeit
09-03-2009, 09:05 AM
I did the opposite, Mags. Tantrums earned a one-way ticket straight out of the store and home, and no further trips for awhile.

I have to endure my child's screams - nobody else should have to.

However, this guy? The 'four or five' slaps - I'm imagining they were quick pops *BapBapBapBap* straight to the mouth (which is what my mom did when we were kids) and that's why the Mom didn't have time to stop him after the first one.

I'm in no way condoning him touching another person's child, understand. But I'm waiting for the surveillance tapes before jumping down his throat for 'slaps'. I've seen hysterical mothers that call a 'bump' a 'shove'. I wanna know what kind of slaps we're talking about. There's a big difference between a few taps to break her concentration and get the child's attention, and a slap across the face.

Torra
09-03-2009, 09:09 AM
I'm in no way condoning him touching another person's child, understand. But I'm waiting for the surveillance tapes before jumping down his throat for 'slaps'. I've seen hysterical mothers that call a 'bump' a 'shove'. I wanna know what kind of slaps we're talking about. There's a big difference between a few taps to break her concentration and get the child's attention, and a slap across the face.

This. I think the article doesn't really give you much to go on, but as you said, touching another person's child without permission is bad. I'm assuming that since she had redness, it wasn't a tap. I could be wrong though, as some people color more easily than others.

Selena
09-03-2009, 09:14 AM
This. I think the article doesn't really give you much to go on, but as you said, touching another person's child without permission is bad. I'm assuming that since she had redness, it wasn't a tap. I could be wrong though, as some people color more easily than others.

You beat me to it (no pun intended!)

He had no reason to touch that child, much less inflict his discipline. Unless he was trying to save the child's life, he should have been no where near it.

Looking at his mugshot, he looks like one mean ole sunnofabitch!

Jamianne
09-03-2009, 10:03 AM
It doesn't matter if it was a light tap or a full on punch. He had NO RIGHT to touch that woman's child.

Sometimes the parents have no choice but to be out with a crying child. I try not to take the kids out when they're tired or in a bad mood, but there are times it's unavoidable. Getting someone to watch the kids or waiting until the spouse gets home is not always an option. I get in and out as quickly as possible, will try to limit the crying/screaming/whathaveyou, and only grab what I absolutely need so that others won't have to listen to my kid's screaming for too long. But if I *need* to get something, I'm not going to not go to the store just because my kid's crying might annoy someone.

AnnaFaerie
09-03-2009, 01:11 PM
I did the opposite, Mags. Tantrums earned a one-way ticket straight out of the store and home, and no further trips for awhile.

I have to endure my child's screams - nobody else should have to.


This is the way it worked with my children. You throw a fit...out to the car you go. We go home and no one gets to have any fun.

My grandchildren...the same thing. If they are with me they better act right or out to the car we go.

I would never lay hands on a child that wasn't mine. Besides...I probably would have been more inclined to slap the parent. Usually the parent is ignoring the child while the babe wails on and on. Yep...the parent is often the one that needs the lesson...not the baby.

By the way. The man would have been in the floor had he touched one of my children or grandchildren. I hope they put him in a room and let some big old guy slap him around for a while.

Mylilpinkpig
09-03-2009, 03:02 PM
What a miserable SOB. If the child's crying was so unbearable to him, why didn't he just leave the store. Personally, if that were my kid the police would have been arresting me because I would kill him.

SilverMirth
09-03-2009, 03:18 PM
What this man did was not right. I would have to be peeled off of someone who accosted one of my children for being "annoying".

That being said, after looking at his picture, I am wondering if he had mental issues due to a stroke or other brain injury. I don't know how many of you work in or have worked in the medical care. This would include those who work as social workers or counselors. I noticed that the one side of his face was "droopy" or had features that were more slack than the other side. this is often a physical characteristic of a stroke or brain trauma victim. If that is the case he may have had impaired judgement or a condition that makes him more sensitive to loud noises. I have seen stroke victims who are normally very sweet but if environmental noises get to loud or chaotic their personality changes and they will do whatever they can to make the noise go away. It is similar to a fight or flight response only they forget that flight is an option. I am not saying this is the case with the man in the news article but more information should be gathered before he is labeled an evil SOB who needs a beat down. Now if later reports indicate that he has a history of violent outbursts or a criminal record of abuse then by all means bring out the chains and the whips.

Isabelle Warwicke
09-03-2009, 07:02 PM
If the child's crying was so unbearable to him, why didn't he just leave the store.

That's not fair. Folk shouldn't have to interrupt their day because of the incovenience of a child, who isn't theirs, being disruptive in a public place. I am in no way condoning this man's actions, however I know how upsetting it can be when I'm trying to shop and I'm traveling the same path in the supermarket with crying baby (not tantrum. Crying for whatever reason that the parent should attend.) I have resolutely changed paths and chosen to shop in a different pattern because of that. I shouldn't have to not shop because some person can't mind their kid.
Now if that kid is throwing a tantrum and their parent is dragging them through the shopping experience by their ankle letting them howl the whole damn way, more power to them. Let the kid scream until they are hoarse. I've got Santa's phone number on speed dial, just in case.

Gemdrite
09-03-2009, 08:15 PM
Now if that kid is throwing a tantrum and their parent is dragging them through the shopping experience by their ankle letting them howl the whole damn way, more power to them. Let the kid scream until they are hoarse. I've got Santa's phone number on speed dial, just in case.
See, now, in my family, if we threw a temper tantrum in the store, Mom left the full cart wherever it was, walked our butts out of the store, drove us home, and we got a whooping so bad we couldn't sit for a week. We learned at a very young age not to throw tantrums. She only had to do it once. Didn't even have to do it for the younger kids, cause us older ones knew better and made the younger one behave before Mom got wind of it. We also learned that we were much more likely to get the candy bar/gum/toy/etc. if we behaved ourselves and Mom was happy. We weren't rewarded every single time, but we knew the likelihood was a lot greater if we behaved.

Lady Hefron
09-03-2009, 08:32 PM
Man's hand on my kid = my foot in his groin.

Just saying.

SpeedKnight
09-03-2009, 08:45 PM
What this man did was not right. I would have to be peeled off of someone who accosted one of my children for being "annoying".

For starters, everyone that knows our kids knows they're unlikely to be in such a situation.
Now, as Phee mentioned, the "slap" could have been nothing more than some quick taps. I also agree with Jayde that if one of us were to attack him, it'd be an assault charge (actually, it'd be battery... assault is just the threat; battery is the follow through). That being said... let a complete stranger lay a hand on one of my kids, in something other than a congratulatory manner. Then, go ahead and call the police. On me, because the instant a complete stranger does so there will be 230lbs of brutal ass kicking unleashed.
Folks say I look mean. Let someone f*&^ with one of my kids and you'll learn just how mean I am.

shyanwench
09-03-2009, 09:05 PM
My daughters are strong willed Navy women-- now! I'm skilled in self defense too, if some stranger had slapped one of them when they were little... that person would have been face down, with a foot in the middle of their back, in a hold... citizen's arrest yelled loudly, somebody call 911... this person is gonna eventually need CPR! Hollie hell! Don't mess with my kids... or anyone else's for that matter... T

That asswipe is damn lucky that Mom wasn't licensed to carry a consealed weapon! Imagine the shock if he was held at daringer point!

Vixynne Rose
09-03-2009, 10:12 PM
Well, I haven't been to a single Walmart yet that didn't have surveillance. Here's to hoping this was all caught on camera so the prosecution can use it in their case.


Dang. No luck with surveillance, according to the police report. The attack took place in an area not covered by cameras at the time.

But the turdburglar admitted to slapping the child, so that's a good thing. :aok:

Ohhhh boy...the original site also shows the full police report paperwork, complete with this man's home address. Wanna bet he's gonna be getting some angry letters?
::laughingdevil::

http://i.cdn.turner.com/trutv/thesmokinggun.com/graphics/art4/0902091slap2.gif

LdyJhawk
09-03-2009, 10:38 PM
I don't care if it was even a light tap on the cheek.. you DO. NOT. TOUCH. when it's another person's child. If the kid is going to run in front of a bus? Ok, grab them. If they're going to knock priceless antiques off a shelf? take their hand and move it away...

You do not slap, tap, smack, bump or swat another person's child without their expressed permission.

Adriana Rose
09-03-2009, 11:22 PM
If anyone touches my son in a violent way lord help them.

Yes toddlers throw fits get over it buddy tune it out like the rest of the world.

daBaroness
09-09-2009, 01:54 PM
This is just almost beyond belief. He apparently admitted that he slapped the child to police. I can't believe he wasn't charged with assault, child abuse and whatever else he could be charged with. Whatever made him think he had the right to put his hands on another person, muchless a small child. I don't care if she was the most obnoxious child in the world - nothing gives him license to do what he did.

I would agree with others here - Walmart isn't the sophistication Mecca of the world. I've seen many irritating examples of poor parenting in all my years shopping at Wally World. But hitting someone else's child? Unbelievable.

I don't see any post-stroke paralysis or other visible signs of impairment on the man - but even if I did - striking a child isn't even close to being justifiable. If the man was so impaired as to lack any good judgement - he shouldn't have been in public unsupervised. I'm guessing he's not a patient person by nature and something just snapped in him.

I understand some so-called parents can be infuriating for their lack of parenting - but deal with the parent about their child's behavior - or bring in others in authority in a public place - but don't just jump to Neanderthal justice - particularly against a child.

Just ... shocking.

Zoie La Belle
09-10-2009, 12:57 PM
Back when I was in college, I was a "nanny" for three small children. I stayed with them for at least nine hours a day, for several days each week. After a while the parents kindly requested that I run errands with the kids (grocery shopping, taking the middle one to school, going to the park, etc). I helped raise the little one from a seedling and noticed after a few years that he loved to flap his arms like a bird, cover and uncover his ears quickly, walk on his tip toes, and had an odd obsession with automatic doors. Autism anyone?? When we would go out he would scream the second we walked away from the automatic doors in a store. He would continue to scream until he fell asleep on the ride home. He would scream in the grocery store, the craft store, the park, and the doctors office. His basic needs were met- he was always fed, dry, and clean... he just couldn't help himself. Several months went by and I learned that a strategically placed cookie or *cringe* SpongeBob song would settle him down, at least when we were in public. But sometimes he would be set off by a trigger like a bright light or loud noise. After a while he learned that screaming wasn't going to get him home any faster and if he was well behaved he would get something that he wanted in the car (juice, water, cookie, SpongeBob songs). I think the point I'm trying to make is that even though it may look bad, sometimes both parent and child can't help the situation. There are usually things that can be done to make it better, but when those bad days hit- there's nothing you can do. When I hear a kid screaming in a store and it starts to bug me out I can usually gain more patience by one of two thoughts: A) The child might be autistic and can't help it. B) Thank God they aren't going home with me. All I could think when I heard this story is that it's a good thing no one tried to "shut up" my little one, because I would have laid him out. :D