What would you do if a stranger slapped your child?

Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse  September 3, 2009 12:52 PM

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This article had me seeing red: A 61-year-old man in Stone Mountain, Georgia, slapped someone else's 2-year-old because she was crying at Walmart.

Violence isn't the answer, but I think if a strange man slapped my toddler the police would have to carry him out of the store on a stretcher.

According to the police report, Robert Stephens had warned the girl’s mother, Sonya Mathews, that if she didn’t quiet her child, he would "do it for her." He slapped the toddler "four or five times across the face," and then told the mother, "See, I told you I would shut her up."

Another shopper restrained Stephens until the police arrived; he was arrested and charged with cruelty to children in the first degree. He's being held without bond.

Unbelievably, some of the comments I've seen online skew towards congratulating the man for hitting the 2-year-old girl, or suggest that he should have slapped the mom instead. "Good for him. I wished I slap a couple of the kids I have been around." one commenter posted. "What he should have done is slap the mother since she is being the crappy parent not teaching or paying attention to her kid," wrote another.

While people -- often people without children -- tend to blame the parents, there could be any number of reasons why a toddler is crying at a store. Sure, the mom could be over-indulgent, or simply ignoring her kid. Sure, the kid could just be pitching a fit. But it's just as likely that the child could be sick, over-tired, uncomfortable, frustrated, hungry, overwhelmed, or have autism. The mom could be a single parent without childcare, who doesn't have the option of leaving her 2-year-old at home while she runs errands.

Now, we've all had to deal with crying kids on airplanes, or toddlers having tantrums near us in public. And we've all seethed and gritted our teeth or sympathized with the parents and dealt with it. Because while the screaming child may be annoying, we're the adults and we're supposed to practice restraint and self control. Slapping someone else's child goes way beyond a Mommy Drive-By or discipline or corporal punishment. It's assault.

Sonya Mathews told CBS Atlanta yesterday that she forgives Stephens, adding that she thinks he must have mental issues.

I don't think that I could be so forgiving.

What would you do if a stranger slapped your child?

Lylah M. Alphonse is a Globe staff member and mom and stepmom to five kids. She writes about juggling career and parenthood at The 36-Hour Day and blogs at Write. Edit. Repeat. E-mail her at lalphonse@globe.com.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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246 comments so far...
  1. I think we are all missing the point. No one I do mean No one has the right to take it upon them selves to discipline someone else's child. A 2yr old. Don't know why she was crying but the 61yr old should have left the area or even better the store. We have all heard of the terrible 2's and it could have been for any number of reason why the child was crying. Now on the other hand, the 61yr old would have just had the chance to raise his hand before he realized that it was broken.

    Posted by HOW DARE YOU September 3, 09 01:46 PM
  1. I would put the beat down on him

    Posted by j2 September 3, 09 01:52 PM
  1. he would have gotten a beat down with every can or bottle i could have found in the store, but i would have been nice enough to call the paramedics for him (and the police). How could someone HIT YOUR CHILD 4 TIMES!!!! Was the mother in shock or just stupid

    Posted by pearl September 3, 09 01:57 PM
  1. Umm, "See I told you I would shut her up" is just a ridiculous statement because I'm quite sure she was probably screaming even louder. Reminds me of my neighbor who when he hit my 2 year old with a shovel his grandmother came over and hit him about 10 times saying over and over "we do not hit, we do not hit". I wonder where he learned to hit my child?

    I think the minute the man threatened my child I would call the store manager and the police although my first instinct would be to slap him right back.

    Posted by Jayne September 3, 09 02:24 PM
  1. I have to tell you that as a near 40-year-old woman I have many times wanted to slap the faces of the dozens of selfish mothers per store who come in and make my shopping experience miserable because they chose to have children and bring them to the store to scream and cry and give me a headache. If a child is crying for 40 minutes straight there is something wrong. They're hungry, spoiled, or have a physical or mental problem. But I ask you think mothers....What does that have to do with me? I was a kid and I asked my mother and she said I never threw a fit in Woolco (Wal-mart of us back in the day) she always fed us, and brought our favorite toy to the store and put us in the basket so we wouldn't terrorize others. If you can't control your kid take them home, get a babysitter, go to the store during light shopping times. I shouldn't have to run from your screaming kid while you're shopping and ignoring their plea for your attention, food or just out of your entitlement.

    Posted by Jada September 3, 09 02:29 PM
  1. I too have been angry at parents who allow a child to have a meltdown in a store - but that certainly doesn't mean I get to slap the kid (the parent, maybe?)

    Another important point here is that the article did not say that the child was throwing a tantrum or having a meltdown. The child may have had a perfectly legitimate reason for crying - her foot might have been stuck in the shopping cart, or she was stuck by a hanger. The fact that the child was crying does not mean that the child was misbehaving or acting badly. In that context, this guy's behavior is especially appalling.

    That said, if some stranger had slapped my child, I doubt I could have stopped myself from ripping his face off. I would probably kill him. I just don't think I could control myself.

    Posted by Nancy G September 3, 09 03:25 PM
  1. Oh they would have had to call the police alright!! I would have been beating an old man the minute he touched my child. I am a single mother, and there are times when someone else watching my child isn't an option. We don't intend on ruining other peoples shopping times JADA, children are children. They may be perfectly fine one minute and the next it's fit city. Sometimes it takes a spanking to straiten them out, sometimes not. Yes parents need to control their children. But they are CHILDREN, BABIES AT THAT!! A two year is not an adult!

    Posted by Lee September 3, 09 03:26 PM
  1. No one slaps my children and the poor man would have been free as a bird I on the other hand would have been locked up for many years for assault on the elderly. Don't get me wrong I am the mother of 3 and the grand mother of 7 with one on the way and I have spanked my child and my grandchildren I am a true believer in spare the rod spoil the child. But no one touched my child but me. "no one" and for all of you critics who can't wait to call me a child abuser for spanking "my" child, just remember, All those parents who didn't spank their children are why we have all these child molesters, thieves and parent killers cause mommy and daddy didn't discipline them and now the world is paying the price! "Spare the rod Spoil the child ruin the World"

    Posted by meme1 September 3, 09 03:27 PM
  1. "No one I do mean No one has the right to take it upon them selves to discipline someone else's child."

    This is what is wrong with the world.

    Posted by selver September 3, 09 03:34 PM
  1. Totally agree with jada...while I would not hit your child...i would be thinking about it. We were simply told the ground rules before we ever entered the store. And tantrums were not allowed or my mother would simply leave the basket where it was walk us to the parking lot, "take care of business," and you better believe, there would be no more crying.

    Posted by ace September 3, 09 03:37 PM
  1. No one has the right to hit ANYONE. It doesn't matter why the kid was crying. They were right to call the police and the police was right to book him for assault, I don't care if it was your two year old or your grandmother or you. NO ONE has the right to assault another person.

    Posted by babs September 3, 09 03:43 PM
  1. I agree with Nancy. I don't think I could control myself if someone touch my two year old. I think I would be in total shock at first, then I would have grab something hit him right over the head.

    Posted by TAM September 3, 09 03:51 PM
  1. You never, ever slap a 2 year old. If the child is acting up, just ask the Mom or Dad if they could take the kid outside for a minute, call security if the child is really unruly, or ask if there is something you can do to help the kid. There is NEVER a reason to hit a two year old. If the parent back talks you (the age old "Don't you tell me how to raise my child!" nonsense o_0 Honey, if your kid is being so loud that people are leaving the store, then the store manager has every right to ask you to leave), then report them to the store. At that age, it's not the kid's fault for crying, it's the parent's fault for not thinking ahead or of other shoppers around them.

    I am by no means saying the mother in this particular case did anything wrong what so ever. The male (he's not a man since no man would ever think of hurting a child) in this case was abominably wrong. However, sometimes things do esculate to the point where people wonder how anything like that could ever happen. I'm sure we'll get more of the story later.

    Posted by Elizabeth September 3, 09 03:59 PM
  1. "No one I do mean No one has the right to take it upon them selves to discipline someone else's child."

    "This is what is wrong with the world."

    AAAAMEN Selver.

    I'm not saying that what this man did was right, but saying that NO ONE has the right to discipline another persons child? I'm sorry, but if I'm walking down the street and I see your child breaking into a neighbors car or house, I would make NO HESITATION to pull them from what they're doing and call the police. People are so ridiculous when it comes to THEIR child. If your child is doing something wrong, and I'm not saying crying warrants discipline, but they are indeed DOING SOMETHING WRONG, I think it is in turn AFFECTING THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY and therefore members of that SURROUNDING COMMUNITY are warranted to take action!

    Posted by carisa. September 3, 09 04:00 PM
  1. I want to know more about this guy, Anyone have scoop on him. What's his background?

    Posted by Bob Wilson September 3, 09 04:08 PM
  1. People need to mind their own business unless the child is clearly in danger. We don't know why the child was crying. Maybe she was sick? There could have been any number of reasons as the post states.

    I was reprimanded by two separate groups of women at Joann's yesterday because 1. my daughter was drinking from a water bottle & not a sippy cup (forgot to grab one before we left the house for errands) and 2, because she was saying hello to everybody and "she shouldn't talk to strangers". My daughter is 16 months old, was in my cart, was behaving perfectly, and believe me, when she's old enough to understand, she'll get the "don't talk to strangers" talk. It didn't occur to me until we got home that I should have been offended by those busy-bodies otherwise I would have said something to them.

    If anyone dared touch my daughter, they would see a wrath the likes of which had never been seen before.

    Posted by tracy September 3, 09 04:10 PM
  1. I don't have kids, but when I see or hear a crying child, my impulse is to try to help. One Halloween I was at the door when a huge gaggle of kids arrived for trick or treat, with not quite enough adults to manage all of them. One of the women was holding a crying baby when something happened to one of the other kids, and she just pushed the baby into my arms so that she could help the other child. We (the baby and I) were both so surprised that the baby stopped crying and then we both started smiling. I handed back a quiet baby to her mom, the trick or treaters continued on their way, and all was much better with the world.

    Sometimes it's not about discipline, but needing help. I've let harried parents with their tired kids go ahead of me in line and given them my seat on the T. I've started peek-a-boo games with toddlers to distract them from their boredom or frustration about being stuck at the grocery store check-out next to the candy. It really does take a village, which also means that anyone who would strike a two-year old across the face 4 times deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and I commend the person who held on to him until police arrived.

    Posted by Concerned Bystander September 3, 09 04:11 PM
  1. Bully, plain and simple. Wonder how many of those supportive of spanking, or of straightening out the kid or the parent, would assault an annoying person who could actually hit them back. If you can't take a child crying or annoying you in a public place, who has as much right to be there as you, you also have the choice to leave. Grow up.

    Posted by don't mess with mama September 3, 09 04:19 PM
  1. I am a Dad, and I can pretty much guarantee that the Police would be involved after I gave him a little of the same medicine! That is completely without excuse! If the child were disturbing him that much he could have talked to the parents or asked the restaurant to move his seat. What a moron!

    Posted by krOutraged September 3, 09 04:20 PM
  1. Look we have all wanted to slug some parent for their child's behavior, but in the last week I have seriously wanted to slug the child. He runs on the bus, pushing anyone that's in front of him out of the way, runs all the way to the back of the bus and then yelling, look mommy I'm here (at least 10 times), when she does it next to him he still has to call her another 10 times and ask the same question over and over again until most of us just want to walk back there and smothering both of them just to stop the noise. That being said had that man hit my child I seriously would have found the strength to pick up the shopping cart and beat him with it. He had no right to hit that 2 year old and he must have some serious problems.

    Yes single parents don’t have a choice but to bring the kids with them, but guess what they don’t have to do it after work on Friday when the place is packed with other shoppers and the kid/s are over tired from their long day. I have seen way too many children who mother decided that if she has to spend the day shopping so does her kid – you know those kids – they are hungry, over tired and almost falling asleep standing up.

    There is no excuse for what this man did, none whatsoever, but sometimes there is even less of an excuse for what some parents put they kids through for their convenience.

    Posted by really!!!! September 3, 09 04:21 PM
  1. It is never ok to physically discipline someone else’s child. I can't imagine what this crazy guy was thinking. That being said, the mother should have left the store if her kid was being obnoxious, and came back inside once she calmed down- no excuses.

    Posted by Maria September 3, 09 04:22 PM
  1. If a stranger slapped my child they would have had to restrain ME until the cops got there!! I would have totally lost it... it would not of been good!!

    Posted by Lisa September 3, 09 04:23 PM
  1. That kid must have been wailing....
    When I was a kid, any adult would smack ya if you were out of line...
    The times have changed...glad they have...
    Dude must have been having a bad day...

    (love the hypocrites who preach and then go home and beat their own babies/children behind closed doors...you know who you are...)

    Posted by Eileen September 3, 09 04:36 PM
  1. Slapping a child that age across the face isn't just cruel, it can actually cause brain damage if it is hard enough to shake her head. With 4 slaps, I would say that was probably hard enough. I think that people who hate children should stay home and shop online.

    Posted by Karen September 3, 09 04:37 PM
  1. It should be O.K. to discipline other people’s children if they are obnoxious and the parent is obnoxiously ignoring it. Why is it parents seem to think it is the greatest parenting on the planet to tune your child's screams, whines, rants, and temper tantrums out and leave the rest of us to suffer them? Why didn't the mom with the screaming child leave the store? Now THAT is a brilliant solution. Stop allowing your little “precious” broken condoms to ruin everyone else's day or send someone into a blind rage. Crying brat is about as pleasant as nails on a chalk board, especially after a long, trying day. If anything else, remember this; Wal-Mart (and all other) cashiers have to stand there and listen to hundreds of annoyances. Don't let your child be another. Be a kind, gentile human and get them out of public when they won’t stop screaming about some asinine toy they were denied. I don't care if you are in the middle of shopping. Or on a bus/train. Or in a show/movie others paid just as much to see as you did. Stop making everyone else suffer. Also, hitting a kid in the hysterics of crying to snap them back to the real world of consequences has raised many people right. Many of the ones who are the most evil never got a spanking…..hmmmmm.

    Thanks for commenting, S. I have to say, though, that you're making quite a few assumptions about the situation. That aside, there's a pretty stark difference between a spanking from a parent and getting slapped across the face 4 or 5 times by an adult you've never seen before in your life. If he had done exactly the same thing to the child's mom, it would have been considered assault and battery. But since he hit a random 2-year-old, you call it discipline? Really? -- LMA

    Posted by s September 3, 09 04:40 PM
  1. I, my husband and our two children, both teens, have black belts. We've never had to deal with a situation like this and I doubt we ever will, heh-heh!

    Posted by Heather Czerniak September 3, 09 04:50 PM
  1. While I do not condone what this man did, I can certainly understand his frustration. More than once, I have left a store with my own nerves frazzled because of a parent's unwillingness or inability to manage their children. Had the mother taken the child out of the store until she was able to calm her down or left the store and come back to finish her shopping at another time, this incident would never have occurred....

    To be honest, there have been times when witnessing an unruly child, I have thought to MYSELF, "If she doesn't do something with that kid......" But of course I would never DO it! That is where Mr, Stephens crossed the line, and he should be punished for that.

    However, some of the blame needs to rest with the mother as well for her lack of consideration, for both her child's well-being, and the other store patrons. If YOUR child is what is causing the disturbance in a public place, it is unfair to expect other people to leave.


    Posted by Yes, I am a Mom September 3, 09 05:01 PM
  1. A crying baby is nothing compared to some of the loud awful music they play in stores. Makes a person want to run out screaming.
    No one hits a baby or any other child. My goodness he could have really hurt her. How did he get away with hitting her so many times. I would have been on his back pulling his hair out or stepping in front of him it would have been me he would have hit. The minute he threatened my child I would have called 911.

    Posted by fifthcrown September 3, 09 05:10 PM
  1. I would do everything in my power if this happened to my darling child to make sure this man was confined away from the public, be it prison or a mental institution.

    If this man does have a mental illness and this is what caused his uncontrolled actions, then shouldn't we forgive? What if a person has a heart attack and falls down on your 2 yr old child and reddens her face? Would you forgive that person? If so what is the difference between having a dysfunctional heart and a dysfunctional brain?

    Posted by Kerri Hanson September 3, 09 05:13 PM
  1. He'd never see 62 is all I know...

    Posted by Knotdefined September 3, 09 05:14 PM
  1. i am a mother of 2 and if some old man would have smacked my son across the face 4 or 5 times. He would have to have a shoe stuck up his well you know the rest

    Posted by Vena September 3, 09 05:14 PM
  1. Do us all a favor: just don't have any kids. And if you have 2 or 3, stop! No matter what your church tells you, your job as a human being isn't to simply procreate. We all need to be able to live here and lead good lives. Part of that means finding your own happiness - part of that is a responsibility not to ruin it for others.

    .

    Posted by Seriously. September 3, 09 05:15 PM
  1. If he touched my kid, I would have probably beaten him to death before the cops got there. See, sometimes two wrongs do make a right

    Posted by gubba September 3, 09 05:21 PM
  1. Here is the link to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution - his bond was recently denied (thank goodness):

    http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/bond-denied-for-accused-130094.html

    Posted by Cynthia K. September 3, 09 05:23 PM
  1. His actions are inexcusable. Those of you who threaten retaliation - could you reasonably do that? What if he had a gun or knife? Also you would be arrested along with the perpetrator. I do wonder what recourse parents have when someone hits their child. I'm certain these incidents will continue to occur. I also wonder about the mother's and child's race.

    Posted by Jen September 3, 09 05:23 PM
  1. You can UNDERSTAND his frustration? If he can't handle stress, noise, or discomfort when he is out and about, well ... maybe he shouldn't be out and about. Everyone has a bad day, maybe the baby was having one. A little more understanding of the situation for the baby and mom would be better. We all have our personal space and don't want it invaded, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow, which might mean walking the other way.

    Posted by suspin September 3, 09 05:38 PM
  1. Lord almighty! Of course he was wrong to strike a child. Why are we all commenting on the obvious, and then digressing into 'spoiled brat' syndrome.

    The folks who don't manage their kids probably aren't spending much time reading comments anyhow. They're too busy being overwhelmed and self-absorbed.

    Posted by Rickety Cricket September 3, 09 05:42 PM
  1. Wait -- to the posters ranting about how awful parents and/or kids are for throwinf tantrums or crying in a store. Exactly how many assumptions are you making here? We don't know how long or loudly the baby was crying -- 2 minutes, or 10, whether it was a wail or a simple cry. We don't know what the mother was doing while the baby was crying.

    Further, do you all think 2 year olds never cry, or that they do so only when in private and away from other adults? Every time they cry, is it a tantrum, or do they sometimes have real reasons for crying -- a stubbed toe, for example?

    So with this very limited information on what's happened (and presumably understanding the age of the child)some of you want to take this situation -- an *assault and battery on a child by a stranger* -- to lecture about bad parenting and awful kids? Seriously?

    Posted by jlen September 3, 09 05:43 PM
  1. I am 64 years old and sometimes when I'm in a store and I hear a child crying and crying and crying, yes, it is annoying to me. But, stores are big places. I just put some distance between myself and the crying child and the parent who, most of the time, is doing the best she (he) can. Being a parent is a very hard job. More than likely, this mom worked all day and had to do some grocery shopping or whatever before going home and getting dinner on the table, feeding her 2 year old, going through the bath time routine, the bedtime routine, all the things that are required of parents today, plus housework, laundry, etc. What had this 61 year old unemployed man been doing all day? What did he have to do with the rest of the day, evening? He should be ashamed of himself. He should volunteer at a daycare? Do something constructive instead of beating up on a 2 year old little girl. Digusting and shameful of him.

    Posted by Eden Courtney September 3, 09 05:44 PM
  1. I will destroy anyone who hit my child. Very Simple.

    Posted by Papa Bear September 3, 09 05:53 PM
  1. Wow. Spare the rod spoil the child? Discipline is what a child needs not beatings. If you asked criminals why they are the way they are it's most likely because of abuse in their childhood. Not because they went to time out. That is laughable. I think parents who spank are just plain lazy. It's easier to be a bully and force your child to behave the way YOU want them to instead of teaching your child self control. It takes time to teach a child.

    Posted by Kim C. September 3, 09 05:56 PM
  1. Yes, suspin, I CAN understand his frustration.... We hear so much about needing a society of tolerance, and that is a good thing....HOWEVER, tolerance without consideration is never a good thing..... If the mother continued her shopping onto another aisle with her crying child, then she showed no consideration for the other shoppers, yet expected their tolerance for her child's crying..... it happens all too often.
    Granted, we may or may not be getting all the facts in the case at this point, and I am gussing NOT....but based on the facts as reported, if Ms, Matthews had shown a little more consideration, then perhaps Mr. Stephens would have displayed a little more tolerance....You cannot sucessfully have one without the other....and this whole scenario proves it!

    Posted by Yes, I am a Mom September 3, 09 05:58 PM
  1. you can thank the Clintons and their liberal friends who believe that "it takes a village to raise a kid." and thank the Obamas who think that everyone plus "big brother" should have a say in each of our lives. Unfortunately, some children are generally undisciplined, some get tired, some don't feel well and their behavior is bad, unsavory. Thus is life. In fairness, a lot of people are considerate of others and do their best to not disturb fellow citizens. Sometimes it is not possible to control small children in a civilized way and parents must complete their shopping. So we also should consider the stress they are experiencing. It works two ways. But, pleeze, let's not buy in to the "it takes a village" garbage.

    You know that Hillary Clinton did not coin the phrase "It takes a village to raise a child," right? -- LMA

    Posted by e. zante September 3, 09 06:14 PM
  1. I was at an ATM in Harvard Square depositing a check once, and there was an incredibly frazzled looking father with a baby in a carriage. The baby was wailing the wail of an infant up hopelessly past bedtime. The dad didn't look like he'd slept in days. Every time he stopped rolling the carriage back and forth to work on the checks he needed to deposit, the kid started in with that jackhammer wail. I have migraine problems. It was painful.

    So what I did is politely ask the dad if I could rock the kid for him while he finished up. I don't have kids. I don't even like kids. But plenty of relatives and friends have kids, so I am used to taking over basic rocking duty so that the parents have a moment or two to keep their lives from exploding. (and I'm really good at making funny faces).

    He decided that I was not a scary kidnapper and thanked me profusely. I took a couple of minutes to roll the carriage back and forth, quieting the baby (who was about 8 weeks old) while sleepless dad managed the huge pile of checks that had accumulated since probably before the kid was born.

    And all was quiet. Dad got his checks done and took the baby home for bed.

    Posted by Lauren P. Burka September 3, 09 06:16 PM
  1. The last time I was at Wal-Mart there was a toddler repeatedly screaming her head off with that eardrum-piercing shriek that everybody knows. The three adult women with her ignored her. I turned to the child and said "Shhhh" and then said "please don't scream". I was immediately cursed out by the women who insisted that "nobody shushes their child" and that I should stay out of Wal-mart if I couldn't stand real life. I told them that I would ask the store manager to deal with them if they insisted on causing such noise. I then walked out without making most of my intended purchases. I can't believe that any self-respecting store manager wants small children to scream bloody murder for minutes on end.

    Posted by Irene September 3, 09 06:18 PM
  1. Maybe the kid had autistic issues. But fatty 61 year old superdad wouldn't have thought of that because he was too upset at having his shopping vibe ruined.

    And yes I'd plant my thumb right into his eye.

    Posted by charlie Watson September 3, 09 06:22 PM
  1. If this man would have slapped any of my children, the police would be coming to arrest me, he would have never made it to the second slap.. And for the woman who states that she doesnt want to deal with our kids while shopping, if I am not mistaken Wal Mart is a public area, if you dont like, stay home, shop online. It's not our fault that your patience level is low, blame that on your parents for not teaching you any better..

    Posted by gi gi September 3, 09 07:24 PM
  1. a kick to the nuts would have been called for.

    Posted by RealityCheck September 3, 09 07:30 PM
  1. That man had no buisness slapping someone elses child. That being said there is a lesson in this for parents. Make sure that when you take a child to the store with you he is well rested, fed and in good temperamen. If the child has a meltdown anyway then remove them from the store until they are under control. It is not ok to subject other shoppers and store employees to their shrieking and crying. Plan you shopping trips around your childs schedule not your own. With some thought and planning anyone can make this happen.

    Posted by Angie September 3, 09 07:43 PM
  1. I would have beat the living snot out of the guy - and I would have made sure he remembered it the rest of his miserable life.

    Posted by Outraged September 3, 09 07:56 PM
  1. That man is probably also a pedifile. People are sick and 1 out of 20 men are pedifiles. Angry white trash...that is what this is about. I hope he gets prosecuted to the fullest extent. That said, I never had a meltdown at a store with my 2 year old - now 4. This is because I know when to take a child and when not to. Moms - please...children and stores - only when the child is well rested, well fed and healthy. Otherwise there is nothing you need so urgently in Walmart that you go, unless its formular, diapers or medication. If you must - give them a job to do - let them hold on to something, tell them what yopu are doing next. If I was a bystander - this guy would have had his you know what kicked in by me! forget the mom!!

    Posted by Lori September 3, 09 08:22 PM
  1. I'm surprised Al Sharpton hasn't gotten involved in this case. There is a picture on smokinggun.com that shows the police report and apparently this kid is black.

    The police report is on The Smoking Gun. The picture is of the man, but the second page of the police report does indicate that the child is black. Here's the link: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0902091slap3.html

    Posted by Alxandro September 3, 09 08:30 PM
  1. He never makes it to a judge. My G*d, if I were just a random shopper and I saw it happening, I would have planted the guy!

    Posted by Daddy September 3, 09 08:33 PM
  1. I WOULD HAVE KICKED
    HIS BALLS UP INTO HIS ASS.
    But then again i have a temper, i'm italian and from ny that is without doubt this would have been my reaction.

    Posted by ljoygalaxy@yahoo.com September 3, 09 08:35 PM
  1. I love all the tough parents. Arnold Schwarzenegger is 62. You are going to kick his a##?

    What a stupid thing for a grown man to do, "slap" a 2 y.o. that is not his. Just shut up and move on.

    And to say you would kick his a##, also stupid. You would do just what happened. Wait for the police to arrest the fool.

    Posted by JohnG September 3, 09 08:48 PM
  1. Mr. Slap-Happy was wrong, VERY WRONG! Hitting him back would not have been my first reaction and to hit him in return would put me at no better place than he is for doing that to the child. Perhaps he does have mental disorders... Fact is, that is a pretty bold move that some people might only have a fleeting thought of doing because we just know better. Surely we all know that crying is a part of the communication process for a 2-year old. I would have been outraged but I also would have been making sure my child was alright as opposed to trying to beat up the grouchy old geezer. The law will punish him.

    Posted by Mom of a 12 year old September 3, 09 08:49 PM
  1. I cant believe the comments that say its the parents fault when the children cry. I am a single mom (40yr) and I know some parents are at fault but most of the time I doubt it. I have what they call a strong willed child. She does actually get help for many issues and was a micro preemie which is the cause of this. If I am at a restaurant or Ross or somewhere just for fun and I can not calm her down I do leave. I however do not drive and when I am at a grocery store or wal mart it is probably for necessity's. I dont have the luxury of just leaving because I wont be able to get back. I do the best I can but sometimes it has nothing to do with me and she just gets mad. Now if any stranger came up and struck my child I would beat him with everything I had in me. No one has any right to every lay a finger on my kid ever. In response to one of the comments that said her mom told her that she was an angel will that was a lucky mom and all kids are different. I think if it bugged him that much wal mart is big enough he should of just moved on. I hope he has a fun time in jail.

    Posted by Mindy September 3, 09 08:50 PM
  1. I am confused as to why ANYONE thinks it is ok to hit a child in the face that is crying. Most of you are making assumptions that have no factual basis - you are making some very big jumps and then continue with "that being said...." like this is ok! I have run into plenty of people who are moody or rude - ADULTS - while shopping. Do I have the right to tell them to stay home until they behave better? Why would you think you can determine anyone else's schedule based upon what works for you?
    I have seriuus doubts that any of you are worth the time it took to write this.

    Posted by Amy G September 3, 09 08:58 PM
  1. God help the person that says to me that they plan on laying a hand on my child.

    That man wouldn't have come within five feet of me. Not only would I have removed myself and my child from the area but he would have been immediately arrested regardless of the outcome.

    Come on people, GET A GRIP!!!

    Toddlers are children with no means to control their emotions. As adults we need to protect, nurture and guide these little people. Granted maybe the parent could have handled things differently but NO ONE has the right to hit a child!

    Posted by Mary September 3, 09 09:00 PM
  1. I agree with Lee. I have 4 children. If the kids are old enough to know better, it's one thing, but a 2-year old does not know how to tell you what is wrong with them. They only have one way of letting an adult know something is wrong with them, and that is crying. I know my 2-year-old can say a few words, but those mostly include bye-bye, mama, dada, and nana. If something is wrong with him that he is crying, usually it means he may have an upset stomach, be tired, or something along those lines. You critics obviously don't have any children, or you would quit being such jerks to the mother, and so sympathetic to to the man that laid his hands on someone else's child. Grow up and we'll see what your opinion is someday when you have a child of your own. I bet your opinion will change real quick.

    Posted by I Love My Kids September 3, 09 09:18 PM
  1. Thank you for mentioning the possibility that the child might be autistic! My 8-year-old son (who has high-functioning autism) will occasionally have meltdowns in public places, usually because he is tired or frustrated, or a combination of the two. I get the most awful looks from people, who obviously are thinking what a terrible parent I must be to let such a big kid scream and roll on the floor. They have no idea what is causing him to have the fit, and they most likely don't understand the best methods for helping the child get back under control (which certainly *do not* include slapping the child!!)

    Posted by Bonnie September 3, 09 09:21 PM
  1. Wow, a lot of tough folks here....no you wouldn't do any of that stuff. People flip out all the time and you just stand there. i see it all the time. Where do all you vigilantes live, anyway??

    Posted by Mike September 3, 09 09:23 PM
  1. Great, no only does he hit a kid, the kid is black...here we go!!! and before anyone says "whats the difference"...we live in America, unfortunately, there is a difference. When anything happens to a black person, it happens to all black people. get ready for the all white people are racists - headlines

    Posted by Tom September 3, 09 09:34 PM
  1. Call the Police
    Charge the perp with Battery.
    Why put the kid thru more seeing a parent get maybe arrested, etc.

    Posted by Keith September 3, 09 09:36 PM
  1. I would of kicked his old Azz! and then some..

    Posted by John D September 3, 09 09:42 PM
  1. When I see a child crying I DO NOT assume the child "started it." I look to the so-called grown-up. I take the T everywhere (don't have wheels), and see LOTS of adults ignoring their infants and toddlers while they, the adults, yak-yak-yakety away on cell phones. When the child needs them, the adults act annoyed. // I'm stunned at the racial comments here. A child is a child. // No-one hits my child. No-one. Laws need to be revised so child abusers don't get off so lightly. I hope that man gets prison justice.

    Posted by reindeergirl September 3, 09 10:09 PM
  1. I'd break his @#%& neck!!!

    Posted by Kevin September 3, 09 10:11 PM
  1. I'm the single mom of a toddler girl (3 1/2 years old). She STILL cries sometimes at the store if she doesn't get her way. It doesn't make the parent a bad parent just because the child throws a fit. It's part of having a toddler. And sometimes you seriously just cannot leave the store if you aren't driving or whatever. I do however take my daughter aside if she's having an issue in a store and I calm her down. Whether it be taking her to the restroom or outside, I'll calm her down then continue with my shopping. You can't always just blame the parent because it's not always the parent's fault. In fact, it could be the child crying BECAUSE the parent is doing a good job of disciplining the child by DENYING them things that will spoil them, thus resulting in a tantrum.

    Anyway - if someone were to slap my child like that, for one thing I don't think they'd connect their palm to my kid's face before I ripped their arm clean from the socket - however, I'd beat the hell out of the a-hole who ever tried to lay a hand on my child. There's NEVER any excuse for touching another person's child let alone slapping them repeatedly. This whole story just absolutely disgusts me. And yes, I honestly would have retaliated. I believe in eye for an eye, and if someone ever hurts my daughter, I'll hurt them just as bad if not worse.

    Posted by Calypso September 3, 09 10:25 PM
  1. If a stranger slapped my child...I would slap the stranger right back.
    I don't put my hands on my children...I will be damned if a stranger will.

    Posted by Heather Musser September 3, 09 10:29 PM
  1. I'd slug him, and in Texas I'd have a perfect legal right to do so.

    Posted by Dora Smith September 3, 09 10:30 PM
  1. I am shocked and suprised he even got that close to slap the child and mutiple times!! I would have been all over him after the first slap. He had no right to do this black or white. However, I personally feel that while it may have been inconvenient for the mother she should have taken the child out of the store, On the other hand, the man could have left the store and completed his shopping at another time. It is unfortunate for him that he was having a really bad day! If he is sentenced, I don't know how much but enough to make him think long and hard about his actions. Some community service and anger management classes are definitely in order,

    Posted by Kathy M. September 3, 09 10:54 PM
  1. I would ahve this 61yr old booked for assualt on an innocent child. Have the adults slap him & put him away in amental asylum withno chanceof getting out

    Posted by sk September 3, 09 11:12 PM
  1. First and foremost, why is it a color thing? Its a wrong and right thing.Bad things happen in America everyday and it affects all of us.If a child is hurt, whether or not they were playing in the yard of getting slapped at Walmart, it effects all of us.It shows us what our country is coming to.Black or white,this man had no right to do that and I too would slap him a few times.Someone commented that they would wait for the police...so you'll watch your child get pimp slapped by a stranger? Yeah you're dumb. And to the people who cant stand children, to not be taken aback when I tell you that you were once a child too.And you probably annoyed adults unless you were a mime from young, saying nothing and trying to get out of your box. Please stay in it.You seem pretty selfish.

    Posted by Simone September 3, 09 11:17 PM
  1. Let's start by saying that the man who hit the child was way out of line. But let's also agree that a 2-year-old in Walmart is way over-stimulated and is looking at hundreds if things that no, she cannot have. Mom is distracted by her shopping or her cell phone (don't get me started) and the child is trying to get her attention. The fact that this man had time to hit the child several times says to me that the mom was not paying close attention. I agree with an earlier poster that it might work if the child was well-rested and well-fed, but in general, expecting a 2-year-old to sit still for long periods of time is asking her to do something she is not yet able to do.


    Posted by Posey September 3, 09 11:46 PM
  1. I'm there with carisa and selver in many respects, and NO I don't beat or spank children, nor do I have any of my own.

    I also don't think that screaming children in a store are necessarily spoiled brats 100% of the time. There's a difference between a toddler who is pitching a fit because he's not getting the toy that he saw on Aisle 5 (although he'll forget about it later anyway) and a toddler who is tired, cranky, hungry, sick, whatever.

    I remember pulling only one fit because I wanted something in a store - ONE - when I was 4 and my Mom took me outside and gave me a spanking. I'm 30 and I still remember this. Now, was I traumatized? No. I love my Mom and I respect her for what she did because she didn't take any cr*p. Did it embarass me? Yes. Did it anger some people? Probably. But did it do the job? YES! I didn't do that again.

    These days, people are all up in arms about spanking and slapping and hitting their children and that it's violence. A swat on the butt is not child abuse when that child is being ornery, disrespectful, disobedient,etc. A slap on the face if they talk back might be dated now, but it was commonplace no more than ten or fifteen years ago.

    I've been in many places where there are screaming kids.

    I was at the movies once, where a screaming girl named Jaycie (not Jaycee Dugard, although praise Jesus that she is home and safe) kept kicking my seat from behind and her mother was ignoring her (except for the occasional "Shhh, Jaycie, let mommy and Dylan watch the movie"), and the little brother (I guess he was Dylan) kept saying "Jaycie! Jaycie!" Finally I turned around and said, "Hi Jaycie, do you want to come sit with me and my niece?" (My niece Makayla was with me - she was seven at the time) Jaycie stopped crying and shook her head. "Then can you please not cry, so your mommy, your brother, and the rest of us nice people here can enjoy the movie?" Yes, maybe I was out of line to say anything, but I didn't act ugly or hit the girl, nor did I want to. I just wanted her to be quiet, just like the other sixty annoyed movie patrons there. It worked. Jaycie was probably scared that a stranger even said something to her about her crying.

    Most recently, at the dance studio where I work part-time, another little girl was going berserk and screaming. Why? Who knows, and who cares. The point was she was being disruptive to the other and their teachers and her mother wasn't doing a thing about it, and as the front desk manager it's my job to make sure every client is happy and comfortable - and an environment with a loud screaming kid is not comfortable, especially if these parents are paying big bucks for their kids' dance lessons.

    So I left my desk and smiled and got down on one knee to face the little girl.

    "Hey, why are you crying?"

    No answer, just a blank look followed by some sniffles.

    "I'm Mr. O! Do you want to come sit at the desk and draw pictures with me?" A nod. Then I looked at the mom. "Is that cool?"

    She shrugged - she seemed kind of wowed that what I did worked. Little Kaylie came and sat opposite me at the check-in desk and drew pictures with a marker for about half an hour, and one of those pictures was for me. Then Kaylie's mother enrolled her in classes! SCORE!

    Distraction is the key here, people. If they're screaming, and you really want to be adventurous (as in talking to the parent or the child), be kind about it and just try to take their minds off of it. Compliment their Dora the Explorer backpack or their Hannah Montana tee-shirt. Make a silly face or a cute voice and see if you can make them giggle. If you can't be kind, do something to take your mind off of it and leave the area. Don't get angry, or wish you could do bad things like slap a child that you don't know... because wishing it may some day lead you to what this sad man did.

    Good luck, because there's a lot of kids out there and a lot more on the way!!!

    Posted by Omar September 3, 09 11:55 PM
  1. First of all, I don't have children. And, yes, I have been terribly annoyed with children having major tantrums in public. But that doesn't mean that I or anyone else have the right to discipline another person's child physically. That man was completely in the wrong. And, if it had been my child, the article would have been titled "Woman Kills Man Who Slapped Her Child."

    Secondly, I am completely surprised by the mother's lack of reaction. Even if she were in shock, someone just grabbed your child and assaulted them. What was she doing while this was happening?

    Posted by BJT418 September 4, 09 01:50 AM
  1. i think its funny how many of you resort to threats on a forum and violence as if somehow your violence was not disgusting. that the child was hit is already well established, they're going to charge him with a felony, which is on a par with a bank robber or a child molester. I find it surprising that nobody who screams revenge or pain on him realizes the hypocrites they are... if you really were disgusted at his violence, you would decry it by using the full force of the law while insuring no further violence ensued from this! but no, instead i read about those of you who would "put him down" or "shove a foot up his a--". what kind of sick lunatics are you? VIOLENCE DOES NOT SOLVE VIOLENCE, IT ONLY INSTIGATES FURTHER VIOLENCE. anyone who denies this fact is sick and sooner or later will hurt someone for some other stupid reason. i'd hate to be anywhere near any of you gorillas! i for one abhor his stupidity, and am glad they are hitting him with a felony, but i would never wish violence on him... it corrupts my soul and teaches him nothing (even if i think it will). no, im not a bible thumping religious nut .... abhorence of violence (or the love of it) is not religiously based

    Posted by kid villa September 4, 09 02:32 AM
  1. first i am not a parent, but i am appalled at how parents today let the child run their lives. kids today are too coddled. sadly i would like to slap some of the kids i see in stores too because the parent is being neglectful in teaching the child to behave...

    Posted by sid September 4, 09 03:19 AM
  1. No one else has mentioned this, so I will: the guy lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He's 61. He's white. The child is black. This redneck jerk probably grew up with the idea that he could do anything he pleased to a black person and get away with it. Does anyone for one minute believe he'd have tried this if the child were white? Ol' Massa Roger thinks he's still on the plantation. He's probably no end surprised that he's in jail. Maybe some prison time will enlighten him as to what century he lives in, especially if he ends up in a prison with a large number of black inmates (the case with most prisons today). On the other hand, if he gets any time, he'll spend it in protective custody. No way he'd last in general population.

    Posted by L.J.Wilson September 4, 09 03:26 AM
  1. i would have that man some help because hitting a child did he really think the child will stop crying

    Posted by edna g September 4, 09 03:31 AM
  1. Kind of funny how the types of people who don't trust socialized healthcare believe in socialized discipline.

    Posted by go figure September 4, 09 03:39 AM
  1. Other than the parents themselves, no one has authority to discipline someone's else' child. I agree with the mom - he must had mental issues or is simply a bitter old man. Also, people like Jada commenting how to control the child or not taking them out with you - you obvisouly have no children and if a crying child can upset your entire day or 30 min at a store...then you need better things to focus on in your life - your clearly unhappy. Children cry...sometimes we do not know why and a parent can not always control it. This old man had no right and is lucky he was not left on the ground with 4/5 slaps to make him shut up!

    Posted by MLS September 4, 09 03:53 AM
  1. I don't sympathize with people that are being rude to other people. If you are a parent and your child is SCREAMING, I do NOT want to hear it. I am not the one breaking the sound barrier, I should not have to leave anywhere...duh. Take the child out of the situation and try to figure out what's up and calm that kid down. I don't condone Mr. Slappy Pants either...I'm thinking he's probably got his own issues to deal with...but really, get your kid out. Oh, and yeah...if I was threatened in a public place by some super creepy guy, I would tell someone..."Hey, btw...see that guy over there in aisle x...? yeah him, well, he just threaten my child so ya may want to keep an eye out..." Like, maybe the MOM should have done!!! How did the guy get close enough to the kid to even do that? This would have never happened 30 years ago. Back then that Mom would have had that kid out of the store before anyone was even aware of a screaming child...now, rude parents expect everyone else to tolerate their responsibilities. See what happens when you build too many WalMarts? Poor world.

    Posted by Muzzles September 4, 09 05:14 AM
  1. It takes a village to raise a child, sure, but it does not take an out of control stranger. Wow he was way over the line.

    Posted by Stefan September 4, 09 06:04 AM
  1. The cold hard fact is it IS the parents fault if the child is crying in public, the parent ALWAYS has the option to leave the store and not bother the other customers. I have 3 kids and have on multiple occasions left stores / restaurants / theaters rather than ruin the night out for other people. That said, the fact that this man got 5 hits in shows how badly the mother was not paying attention to her child. The fact that the old man got close enough to strike the child shows just how badly the mother was ignoring her child. No stranger got that close to my 2 year old daughter, ever.

    Posted by LeepII September 4, 09 06:45 AM
  1. I'm positive I would have lost all semblance of control and would have ended up in the cell next to him. I don't advocate violence as a form of problem resolution, HOWEVER; once the first slap hit home, it becomes defense and I would have defended my child by any means necessary.

    Posted by phe September 4, 09 07:11 AM
  1. The little brat probably deserved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by wtf021 September 4, 09 07:52 AM
  1. Anyone who touched my child would find themselves enjoying a Drano and Roundup Martini, ON ME!!!

    Posted by Kevin September 4, 09 08:05 AM
  1. Don't anger the mama bear. I'm sure even Ahhhnold knows better than that. Women fight mean when the kids are involved. I'm surprised this guy is alive at all, he should have had 20 pounds of purse colliding with his head at high velocity.

    Posted by K September 4, 09 08:06 AM
  1. So, according to the police report, the guy slaps the kid "four or five times across the face"??? Really? Why did the mother allow him to slap the kid "four or five times"? Obviously she saw him do it that many times if that's what she reported...but four or five times? Dude hit my kid *once*, and I would've immeidately snapped to attention.

    What a lazy mother.

    Posted by Paul September 4, 09 08:11 AM
  1. If the man didn't like the noise he should have left the store. Not everyone can quiet down their child, handicapped individual or elderly parents (dementia).Be greatful you only had to listen to it for a few minutes. As for him hitting the little girl, he should be charged with assult & battery. Also he should have to attend anger management classes. If he spend anytime incarcerated he should have to listen to a recording of a screaming child 24/7.

    Posted by susan campbell September 4, 09 08:14 AM
  1. The guy who slapped the child was obviously mentally deranged. That wouldn't prevent me from dope slapping him a few hundred times though and perform a two finger stooges eye poking for good measure. I see people all too often being critical over disruptive children but that is life and we have to deal with it. I am sure the freakazoid who slapped the child delt with his children the same way, if he had children. Another reason people who hate children should not be breeding.

    Posted by Jonathan Placebo September 4, 09 08:26 AM
  1. "Allow a child to have a meltdown in a store..."
    You miss the point. May you have a child one day, I hope that he or she has the inhuman self control you're expecting, because that would be great for you. In real life, children do not always act in ways that fits in your plan. It is unfortunate that you "allow" it to ruin your shopping experience. As an adult, you have more ability to mediate/suppress your feelings than a 2 year old does.
    If anyone ever assaults my child because he or she feels that they know best how to discipline my child, and is bold enough to demonstrate for me for the purposes of my parental education, that person is probably going to lose his or her life that day. Because a 61 year old man cannot withstand the absolute righteous fury that would come down on him, and there would probably not be enough officers on the scene to remove me from his face during that critical few moments when I can do the most damage.
    If other people bother you SO MUCH....don't leave your house. They have this thing called the 'internet' which allows you to buy anything you need and have it shipped to your house. Be bothered by things that bother you...if you want to be a Squidward then that's your choice. But raise a hand to my child and you forfeit your right to life.

    Posted by Grizzly September 4, 09 08:53 AM
  1. " Also, hitting a kid in the hysterics of crying to snap them back to the real world of consequences has raised many people right. Many of the ones who are the most evil never got a spanking…"

    Well, we made it to comment 25 before someone said something completely crazy. Not terrible.

    Human beings usually remember the past with rose colored glasses. This fact causes a ton of problems.

    Posted by AMM22 September 4, 09 09:01 AM
  1. I usually don't advocate physical violence but in this case, after I saw him slap my child, my Appalichian American (Redneck) side would have taken him to woodshed! Physical violence would have been the beginning and the end of this guy's WalMart shopping experience. Just after they peeled me off of what was left of him the police could have taken "it" on to jail. I, too, would know that he was mentally deranged and could forgive him later, but at the moment of knowledge that he struck MY CHILD, I would be in protect and attack mode. Period! That's what I would do.

    Posted by W September 4, 09 09:02 AM
  1. I get annoyed by adults in Walmart/Target all the time. In fact, it's usually 61 year old men! They are slow, they feel entitled to cut in line, and then they act like they are hard of hearing if you try and object. They demand the attention of the retail staff and that's part of the reason I can never find someone to help me. They write checks for items totalling less than $10. They use coupons that aren't applicable because they can't read the fine print, and then argue over a 5 cent discount they thought they could get, then decide not to buy the item as if that is going to teach the store a lesson.
    I feel like it's OK now that when they get like that, I can just slap them a few times. Why not? They're ruining everyone else's shopping experience.
    While we're at it, people who go to or work in retail stores in America and do not speak English annoy me. I'll start slapping them too. The people in the parking lot who stop and wait for my parking spot when they see me approaching my car with my carriage...that is EXTREMELY annoying. And it's usually a 60 year old. I'll smash their window and slap their face from now on.
    I'm so glad this 60 year old broke the ice!! Now I can finally release all these pent up slaps I've been carrying aorund!

    Posted by Slappy McSlapSlap September 4, 09 09:08 AM
  1. >> "you can thank the Clintons and their liberal friends who believe that "it takes a village to raise a kid." and thank the Obamas who think that everyone plus "big brother" should have a say in each of our lives."


    Sigh.. yes it was Clinton and Obama's fault. Everything that ever happens is their fault. Plus, any 61-year old white guy from Stone Mountain, GA is going to be a huge Clinton / Obama fan.

    I'm starting to realize that Glen Beck is king of the idiots..

    Posted by BOS22 September 4, 09 09:16 AM
  1. It is an instinctual biological imperative to protect one's progeny, that is the reason why our species has survived this long. Any idiot knows if you see a bear cub in the forest, you do not walk up and try to pat him or keep him as a pet, because a very large and angry momma bear is going to kick your ever-loving behind back to the big city. Everyone knows that.
    How can people, being honest with themselves, post on here that VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER? It's arrogant and ignorant for someone with no children to think that it would be possible to have a moment of philosophical introspection during the witnessing of the assault of one's child, and then decide not to intervene because pacifism is the best path through life. ARE YOU CRAZY!? My children deserve better than that. I am not some intellectual pansy who doesn't know what to do at the moment of truth. And to be honest, I don't think any of you are either. Even the people who want to portray themselves as 'better' on here, I think you would react with violence in that situation. If you wouldn't, then you are the worst parent I can think of. No matter how much peace and understanding is in a parent's heart, there is absolutely no tolerance for what happened.

    The REALLY bad person would react like this...not do anything in the store...go down to the PD to file paperwork for pressing charges...write down per's name & address...call friend with guns...pay visit. THAT's taking it to the violence level that is inappropriate. Dealing out an unarmed beating tit-for-tat at the scene of the crime is an understandable biological response and no lawyer worth his salt would lose that case for you.

    Posted by Grizzly September 4, 09 09:22 AM
  1. You don't get to slap strangers...2 or 62 years old. It is assault, plain and simple. With that in mind, this guy would have had my foot where the sun don't shine.

    Posted by Carrie September 4, 09 09:37 AM
  1. I see nothing wrong with slapping babies, or baseballs that are in the glove of Bronson Arroyo.

    Signed,
    Alex Rodriguez

    Posted by A-Rod September 4, 09 09:38 AM
  1. Enough is enough! The mother SHOULD HAVE LEFT THE STORE, not the man. He was wrong, but everyone has a breaking point. I am constantly appalled today by the bad behaviour of children everywhere. My mother would have taken me out of the store and slapped me in the car. She used to say, "Stop it or I will give you something to really cry about."
    I was also spanked as a child and I grew up OK. But I decided not to have children and avoid the constant hassle.

    Posted by Liz Pakula September 4, 09 09:39 AM
  1. If anyone slapped my child, the child would be the last human being this individual ever touched. He is extremely lucky the childs father was not there. In Ga. the dad would have pulled a gun and shot him, no questions asked.

    Posted by Pete September 4, 09 09:46 AM
  1. Some people live such sterile lives they forget many young parents are working 2+ jobs to make ends meet. Babies shop with mom tired, teething. When a baby is cutting teeth the whole world is wrong. Reading the story it sounds like the mother was intimated by this guy and froze in her tracks. If it were me, I'd grab my baby and that man would have had a Walmart buggy stuck up his posterior end or rammed in his crouch for starts. The mother did her best.

    Posted by swampangel September 4, 09 10:05 AM
  1. A couple of points:

    1) Crying is a natural way that young children relieve stress. And sometimes they have a lot of stress to relieve. Long bouts of crying do not indicate a child who is "hungry, spoiled, or has a physical or mental problem." Children are not adults and shouldn't be expected to deal with stress the way adults can. Someone's cerebral cortex doesn't fully develop until they are 21. Just because you or someone else was forced to shove their feelings at a young age doesn't make it a good practice. Tears actually contain stress hormones. Think about that the next time you hear anybody crying and you conclude that it's unnecessary.

    2) What's with the sanctity of shopping at Walmart? Sure, I can understand being particularly distressed if the noise of a child crying is ruining a wonderful meal, a movie, or breaking your concentration. But for goodness sake, *they were at Walmart*! No one was trying to meditate, eat filet mignon, or pass the state Bar exam! Heck, I can't stand people having disembodied conversations in public places at the other end of a cell phone. So, does that mean I get to slap them?

    3) Children are not your property. About 99% of the people on here saying they would kick the guy back into next week sound like they're offended the mother's role was threatened or that her rights were infringed upon. He should have been stopped, yes, but stopped because he was interrupting a normal way that children relieve stress and causing the child trauma. The mother's rights or territory is entirely secondary.

    Posted by Tom September 4, 09 10:06 AM
  1. #99 - This is a good example of why I don't hit my kids. I don't want them to grow up and feel that children are a hassle. That's what your mother slapping you has done to you. Her behavior towards you has resulted in feelings of guilt for having been such, and that translates into you passing on the greatest experience a female can be a part of. I feel sorry for the abuse you took but the basic fact remains that your attitude towards kids does not make for a healthy society.
    Children are a blessing and it's totally worth it in the long run. When I am at the end of my life, at least I can be at peace knowing that my worldview/philosophy will live on in my offspring. Even though I will be gone from the Earth, I still have the potential to affect it positively through their actions. Sure it's a lot of work. But the alternative is that I live my life selfishly, for no purpose but my own enjoyment, and when I pass on no one cares or notices. I personally need a purpose, and that is what my kids give to me.
    Lots of things in the store are annoying, and you can't expect everyone who someone else finds annoying to leave the store. You seem like the kind of person who would be oh so offended if a manager came up to you and asked you to leave the store because your perfume was objectionable to another shopper. Or because you have a skin condition that another shopper finds disgusting. I don't see how people can have tolerance for these things that are beyond control, but think that a crying baby is somehow different.

    Posted by Grizzly September 4, 09 10:12 AM
  1. First I would stop him. Then I would take lots and lots of pictures of him and call the police. Assault is assault.

    Yes, parents should teach their children how to behave in a store. But many don't, and even among those that do, their kids get tired. Their blood sugar crashes, they missed a nap, they throw a tantrum. That's just what kids are like. People should carry earplugs anyway - any Red Line rider will know what I mean.

    Posted by Columbine September 4, 09 10:25 AM
  1. To be honest, I would have had a very difficult time not killing the jerk on the spot. I might have gone ballistic, judging from the few times that I have been personally physically attacked. You don't endanger my kids and get a calm response.

    That said, since the bystander restrained him, I would not stop with criminal prosecution alone - I'd file a civil lawsuit against him as well. See how nice his retirement goes when he has to work in a WalMart to make ends meet because his savings and pension are garnished to pay the judgement and hear whining and crying kids 40 hours a week!

    I wonder how many kids this guy has had contact with in his time, and how many bar fights he's been in. Sounds like a real experienced loser to me! If he had patted the kid on the shoulder, all the slap happy twits would have been shouting PERVERT. Slapping is okay?

    Posted by Infoferret September 4, 09 10:34 AM
  1. Old people and children shouldn't be within arm's length proximity of each other as they are both unpredictable (read with heavy sarcasm). Crying baby, crazy old man...sounds about right for a day at Walmart.

    Posted by a day at walmart September 4, 09 10:35 AM
  1. Call the police. Thank God someone did.... Just because a 2 year old cant' hit you back, it is no excuse for hitting the child. Would he hit an adult if the adult annoyed him in some other way? No, because the adult would hit him back. There is NO excuse for this - absolutely none. Two year olds cry when they are distressed, or are having a tantrum or whatever... such is life. they are not adults, and they can't reason like adults (nor are they expected to). He should have left the area if it bothered him that much. I fear for what his children might have gone through! very sad.... this intolerance. I get annoyed with badly behaved kids in public too... but taking this kind of action is unacceptable. In every sense of the word. A 2 year old is too young...

    Posted by chins September 4, 09 10:43 AM
  1. I would have snapped his freakin' neck...dead.

    Posted by geoff September 4, 09 11:01 AM
  1. Looks like a racist, acts like a racist, he must be a racist. Are we stating that any elderly white man who feels that he has a right to put his hands on a person's black toddler does not a racially motivated intentions to inflict harm and hatred upon society. Spare me that analysis. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, ITS A DUCK.

    Posted by Ridiculous September 4, 09 11:08 AM
  1. Let me say that I don't have kids, and frankly kind of can't stand them at all. I think we're overpopulated and my beliefs don't fit the mold of college - job - marriage - house - kids - dog in the yard. I find that stifling to a painstaking degree.

    But... I can relate with a parent's natural instinct to protect their young. In my case, my younger sister has Down's Syndrome and was always prone to loud and dramatic fits in public. I was and still am extremely protective of her and am her biggest defender. During the summers when we were all home from school I used to give my parents a break and take her out to stores or the park or what not.

    I remember when i was in my late teens she had a fit in a K-mart and was bumping into people in the checkout screaming. One guy got so fed up the he pushed her and said stop running into me! She can't help it and doesn't know better. I had a moment that I'm guessing parents also have when they sense their child was in danger, it was like a fight-or-flight animal instinct of protection. I lunged at the man and nearly twisted his arm off, it must have been a natural adrenalyn instinct because my heart raced and i turned flush red. And I'm a guy who has never even gotten into a fistfight in my life. People around me had to pull me off of him. He just ended up calling me a kook, gave me the finger, and got out of the store.

    Funny thing is she stopped crying :)

    Posted by eric September 4, 09 11:11 AM
  1. #96 Good point. You are wise, very wise. I didn't realize that this article is really about how Obama and Clinton ruined the world until you pointed it out. Thanks for being "that" guy.

    Posted by mynamsbrandon September 4, 09 11:17 AM
  1. Unfortunately, I feel this wouldn't have happened at all had this young girl been with her father. The man took advantage of the girl and the mom. Had me and my 225 pounds of thunder been there, this guy would have done nothing more than give dirty looks. I am going to talk to my wife tonight and suggest that if she thinks someone may harm our little 8-month old, she needs to stand up strong and tough and defend themselves.

    Posted by boogersnot September 4, 09 11:27 AM
  1. This story makes me sick. And I don't believe a single one of the reader comments that claim good parenting can prevent a child from ever crying in a store. It's part of childhood to occasionally cry, and part of adulthood to occasionally deal with crying children. But the bottom line is that an attack on a defenseless 2-year-old by a 61-year-old creep is NEVER warranted or acceptable. It's abuse, plain and simple. I can't imagine how traumatizing this must have been for the poor mother. And I can't believe that an adult behaved this way, or that other adults are coming to his defense. We should be a far more civilized society than this.

    Posted by BostonBlonde September 4, 09 11:31 AM
  1. You know - for those of you who complain about kids "ruining your shopping experience" - too freaking bad! Kids are people too and they have every right to be in a grocery or clothes store with their parents. Yes, sometimes children get whiny and only consider their OWN wants and needs and don't understand why everybody just can't conform to their whims.

    Most grow out of that stage. Others never do and then as over-entitled adults, they write comments about their shopping experience being ruined.

    If you really don't like seeing children (or old people for that matter) while you're food shopping, I have a suggestion: PeaPod.


    Posted by Knotdefined September 4, 09 11:34 AM
  1. It doesn't matter why the kid was crying, whether the kid is autistic or tired or just cranky, how long or how loud the kid was crying, or whether or not the mother was dealing with the crying kid.

    And it doesn't matter whether the guy is in his 60's or 20's, whether he's a war hero or a Klan member or just having a bad day.

    The only thing that matters is that this guy hit somebody else's kid. Even if you believe in corporal punishment, you're probably not on board with the idea of somebody besides you administering it. If it were my kid, I don't care if the guy is a body builder, I'm finding a way to take him down.

    Posted by Paul September 4, 09 11:34 AM
  1. JADA, you make it obvious that you have no children. It is sad that people like you exist in this world- it is also disturbing to me how you make this scenario all about you. you must lead a very lonely life.

    Posted by Allison September 4, 09 11:36 AM
  1. I am reading some of these comments, and I'm just flabbergasted. I really can't believe people are condoning a random stranger slapping a child in the face. Or making asinine assumptions (i.e. "if you have 2 or 3 [children], stop!" –from Seriously.).

    We don't know all the details - the child could've been hurting, or hungry, or God knows what else! At 2 years old, most children's vocabulary is still building, and they cry to communicate a host of different things.

    In response to Jada: While I do agree with taking your child outside if they are causing too much of a fuss (mine is 4, and I take her outside for a "time out" if she's throwing a fit - she usually calms down by the time we get to the car), I do not agree with having to only shop at certain times. My life is just as busy (in all likelihood MORE busy) than anyone else’s. I shop when I have the time to do it. Being a single parent doesn’t always afford me the luxury of getting a babysitter or waiting until she’s had her nap.

    And in response to Carisa: I totally agree with you on that… if the child is doing something inherently wrong (like breaking into someone’s house or car… stealing… whatever), by all means: put a stop to it and call the police. But a two year old crying in the store is hardly a police-worthy offense. A 61-year-old man who should know better slapping a crying 2-year-old who doesn't know better “four or five times”, IS.

    Concerned Bystander: Thank you. I wholeheartedly agree that sometimes help is what is needed. Not harsh, uninformed judgments. Being a parent is hard work (though, ultimately - totally worth it), and occasionally we all get overwhelmed: parents & children, both. While I might be a tad uncomfortable at a total stranger holding my kid (which was great of you not to say something to the mother who thrust the baby in your arms), I’d love it if someone distracted her with peek-a-boo when she’s bored. Shopping with mommy isn’t always fun. :)

    I don’t know why the mother allowed her child to be slapped at all, much less four or five different times, but if ANYONE touches my child that I haven’t given explicit permission to, they will suffer my wrath. And they better pray to God that they have GREAT medical coverage. It is NOT your place to discipline anyone else’s child.

    Posted by Catharine September 4, 09 11:37 AM
  1. It's a fact...children cry. They scream, they tantrum, they yell. It's all part of the growing process. (how we discipline and teach them determines the path of the growth)

    That being said, Mr. slap happy probably wouldn't have had the chance to get close to my daughter. The minute he threatened, he would have been begging for someone to put an end to the horrible pain and suffering I was laying on his candy bottom.

    Posted by g September 4, 09 11:43 AM
  1. Assuming that I was accompanied by my wife...The second he threatened our daughter, I would have asked my wife to go check out something in a different section of the store while the nice man and I had a heart to fist chat.

    Posted by g September 4, 09 11:45 AM
  1. you can't win.

    when I took my having-a-meltdown 3 year old out of a store (she was screaming bloody murder) and back to the car (I just abandoned my cart and left the store to deal with the problem), here's what happened to me.

    some effin' busy body decided I was 'abusing my child', took my license plate and called local police. if it was not for a good neighbor who was a cop in my town quashing the inquiry, I probably would have been referred to DSS.

    you can't win. being a parent is a thankless job that is 'highly valued' by our society, but it's only lip service.

    Posted by oldmoldymom September 4, 09 11:50 AM
  1. I would crack this old man's f'n skull against the pavement. If someone ever laid hand on my child it would take an pack of wild horses to pull me off the rage filled beating I would impose.

    Posted by ThisManInJail September 4, 09 12:00 PM
  1. Some kids do need a slap. But from a parent. I was in a grocery store over this summer, and some women had her two sons with her. I am guessing they were both somewhere in the 8 to 11 year old range.

    So, at the checkout line this little brat was actually stepping into the cashiers area behind the register and trying to punch numbers. The cashier was just some teenage kid, and he didn't know what to do.

    I wanted to slap this kid, but I would never EVER do something like that. However, I did tell the kid "hey buddy, be careful if the police catch you doing that, they will arrest for trying to steal the money". I said in a very friendly way (like I was looking out for him).

    The kid looked scared as heck and went back to his mother and kept still and quiet. The mother thanked me.

    However, if someone ever laid a hand on my child, I would do everything I can to beat the living daylights out of them.

    Posted by LockUpThatJerk September 4, 09 12:06 PM
  1. I'd b*tch slap him!

    Posted by Rick Snooker September 4, 09 12:11 PM
  1. I don't think ANYONE has the right to slap ANY child, EVER. However, parents with screaming children should make their purchase immediately and promptly leave the store. I don't care if that is inconvenient for them. It is inconvenient for others to have to listen. Maybe they should have considered the challenges of parenthood prior to reproducing.

    Posted by Jenn September 4, 09 12:19 PM
  1. Assault of any kind is unconscionable. Only a seriously deranged person could assault a child. I am shocked at the casual attitude of many who have posted their comments here. The best behaved toddlers have their moments.

    If one is annoyed or irked by a child's behavior, it is time to move away from the scene. Assaulting the parent or child is a crime. Roger Stephens should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Let's sent out a message: Don't hit children --- ever!

    Posted by Michael Goldfield September 4, 09 12:26 PM
  1. We've got two kids, and we both work full time and then some. A couple weeks ago my 2 year old had a complete melt down in a drug store in NH. I had to bring her outside to calm down, and then we went back in, purchased what we came for, and left ASAP, as another tantrum was about to start.
    I know little kids screaming/crying in a store are annoying...I used to be one of those annoyed people a few years ago who wondered why anyone would bring a screaming/crying kid into a store....but now I know.
    My husband was sick, feeling completely miserable, and needed a prescription filled. The baby was sleeping, but I had to take the 2yr old, as she was just too much for my husband.
    It was a really rough morning, but you do what you have to. If anyone tried to hit my child with the delusional thought that somehow it would quiet her down, they're crazy!
    I found out a daycare provider slapped my daughter on the hand once, when she was about 1.....she only screamed louder. Needless to say, we no longer use that daycare provider.


    People seem to be so much more intolerant and stressed out compared to when I was growing up... my parents struggled to feed/educate us and keep a roof over our heads, and they would never act like that with someone else's child.

    Posted by m September 4, 09 12:40 PM
  1. I can remember being in Wal-mart once, trying to de-stress by doing some stolling down the aisles. When, all of a sudden, a girl (who was about 12) went SCREAMING up and down the aisles, looking for her mother. I merely turned to her and said "must you scream like that"? Of course, she looked at me like I had two heads, but the screaming stopped.

    When confronted by screaming/crying children, I always try to find some humor in the situation. Like, playing peek-a-boo with the child, or speaking directly to the child and asking what's wrong (always with a smile)? I think it lets the mother know that the child is having a difficult time, but it does not put her on the defensive. (I've also gotten some great baby laughs and smiles when I've done this!) There's no use in getting all worked up about it and trying to take matters into your own hands (pun intended).

    Also, sometimes when the child can't be quieted down, I say a silent prayer and thank my lucky stars that I don't have to deal with that 24/7/365.

    Posted by nancestef September 4, 09 12:41 PM
  1. "How Dare You" up top said it best with "Now on the other hand, the 61yr old would have just had the chance to raise his hand before he realized that it was broken".

    I would have taken it many steps further and I think that the 61 year old would be leaving Walmart in a body bag.

    This man clearly has never raised children and probably is pretty miserable still about his own childhood. If he did raise any kids I'd be curious to see how they ended up?! Miserable old man!

    Posted by Kid lover/hater of evil doers September 4, 09 12:45 PM
  1. What happened to "It takes a village?"

    Posted by allriledup September 4, 09 12:50 PM
  1. I really, truly, honestly hope that mother had the wherewithall to take her baby for a full neurological work up. I am really concerned for the potential brain or brain stem damage that might not be obvious now but can slowly set in because of that kind of abuse.

    Posted by merilisa September 4, 09 12:51 PM
  1. I would simply give him a 'fire and forget" bullet!

    Posted by unbelievable September 4, 09 01:25 PM
  1. As the mother of an autistic child, I truly appreciate your mention of autism as one of the reasons a child can break down in public.

    Earlier this year I did a guest post on the NY Times blog Motherlode about grocery shopping with my son. It may help readers understand what goes on behind the scenes and pause before passing judgment.

    http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/05/dont-judge-a-mother-until-you-know-the-whole-story/

    Posted by MPJ September 4, 09 01:31 PM
  1. Hey Jenn - Why don't you let all of us parents know where and when you will be at every point in your day? That way we can all get on board with you being the center of the universe, and can schedule our days accordingly so we never have to bother you. God forbid you should have to listen to a loud noise for 5 minutes. I know, that can really ruin your cell phone conversation that you're trying to have in the middle of the store.
    You, madame, are the crybaby. WAAA, a loud noise bothered me! Everyone else should be quiet when I am around so I can be the center of attention in the store!

    Posted by WhatWouldYOURmomSay? September 4, 09 01:37 PM
  1. I would come to the defense of my child.....the clown would never touch another kid ever again.

    Posted by Dump Mumbles September 4, 09 01:56 PM
  1. I didn't read all the comments here...but my thoughts are a bit more basic. Never should an adult male lay hands on a woman or child period.

    Play all the scenarios you want, it's never acceptable.

    I don't know the penalty's for this crime, but a nice hefty donation to local youth center or a home for abused children sounds good.

    Posted by marc September 4, 09 02:03 PM
  1. Ok - I'm not really getting all of the "if someone slapped my child I would beat the living ---- out of him" type of comments. It's not right for someone to hit your kid (which I agree) so to prove that point I will hit (no wait not hit, beat) someone else. I agree with Jayne (post #4):

    "..Reminds me of my neighbor who when he hit my 2 year old with a shovel his grandmother came over and hit him about 10 times saying over and over "we do not hit, we do not hit". I wonder where he learned to hit my child? "

    I was witness to something similar. A friends 2 year old hit my cousin's 2 year old. The friend's reaction? She slapped her 2 year old 3 or 4 times while yelling at her "we don't hit".

    Yes, I would also *want* to hit someone who hit my kid and if my child was seriously being beaten of course I would do whatever was physically neccessary to protect my child. But, if it was just a slap, I would call the police rather than repeat the bad behavior in front of my kid. I hope people are exagerating to make a point.

    Posted by CC September 4, 09 02:15 PM
  1. Hit my child, and you will regret it for the rest of your miserable life.

    Hugs,

    AD

    Posted by Arlington Dad September 4, 09 02:22 PM
  1. So, some of you believe that a little slap here or there is ok? When that slap becomes a bit numb, then what? A belt? A wooden spoon? A willow branch? A closed fist? Verbal put downs like "I should have abborted you"?

    So, spare the rod and spoil the child huh? The best thing about me (not the biggest guy in the world, but not the smallest) being able to beat the crap out of several large men at once as well as being able to stand up to a good beating as well and hardly feeling it, is having no remorse for smacking the crap out of a woman. After all, it was a parrent who taught me that hitting is ok as long as you don't agree with someones behavior and that hitting someone weaker than you gets a result. Thanks mom and grandma for teaching me how to hit and how to take a hit. Now I can pass this on to my children. Perhaps my child can teach your child how to take a beating as well.

    Posted by Worthless, Stupid, Etc. Etc. September 4, 09 02:28 PM
  1. I agree CC, beating someone after they hit your child? Glad that many of you parents would be wonderful examples for your children. I understand the reaction/exaggeration but I think it would be more important to call the police and have them reprimand this man. Then you do not have to worry, but he does... about dropping the soap!

    I also agree with what many of you have said about crying children in general. Yes it is obnoxious, yes it is a part of life, and from time to time we must deal with it. Mothers should be more intune with their children and care for them, bring them outside or away until they have calmed, but on the other hand [as it has been said] there is sometimes no way out and so everyone else must learn to take a breath.

    It is a give and take, society today has forgotten this and only wants to take what is "yours", its all about me me me right?

    Posted by Kimarch September 4, 09 02:43 PM
  1. CC- You're interested in the message being sent to the child? This kid just got slapped by a total stranger. So if I do nothing, and let the police handle it...probably when the police handle it, the child will not be there witnessing it. All the child ever sees is some a-hole hitting her, and her mom or dad doing nothing. What lesson do you think it teaches a 2 year old who has no preconceptions about the world? It teaches, "it is ok to discipline someone elses child", "it is ok to discipline any child by assaulting them", and "when someone aggressive attempts to dominate you socially, you should be a sheep and let him have his way with you." The bottom line is, he is demonstrating extremely antosocial behavior to a child in their developing stages. The mental harm inflicted here exceeds the physical harm of the slaps. I would not feel ashamed for my daughter to see me do what I need to do to defend her, regardless of the consequences. What she would be seeing is a deviant member of society being taught a lesson by a representative of the mainstream. This is how society corrects wild behavior sometimes. It's natural, even though technically illegal as you say. To me, morals>=laws
    Also you are discounting the effects of instant instinctual response. You assume you would have the ability to pause and think rationally before acting. This is one of those few situations where a human being WILL snap, that is why it is inadvisable to assault a human being's child. Kind of like, if you step out into busy traffic, you WILL get run over. Sure you can say its the driver's fault, but you ought to know better.

    Posted by Grizzly September 4, 09 02:44 PM
  1. What is wrong with people nowadays. I am a mother of a 1 1/2 yr old and I would put the person in the hospital if they ever touched my child. What is wrong with you people on here saying the a parent should leave the child(ren) home, find a baby sitter, not shop after work on a Friday, etc. Are you serious??? A child has EVERY right to be in a store, just like you do. It truly sickens me when I think of what this world is coming to! You dont know what was going on with this child. She could have been hungry, sick, tired, wanted a toy, etc. But who the hell are you to put your hands on someones else's child? If you dont like kids stay the hell home! Are we going to start banning children from stores now??? It is ridiculous!! I cant stand people who think the world evolves around them! Grow up!

    Posted by Mom2J September 4, 09 02:48 PM
  1. at least a child's excuse is that they are a child. and yes at time kids can cry.

    BUT what about all the annoying adults that i see shopping? if they annoy me can i tell them to just stay home and shop online or smack them across the face???

    Posted by kiki September 4, 09 03:04 PM
  1. Grizzly - I get where you are coming from, I can appreciate that and I am not saying that I would do nothing but stand there calmly as I call the police, of course not. I'm sure I would be screaming as loud as possible at this man, but I still wouldn’t hit him. Maybe my perspective also comes from being a woman, as in I wouldn't hit a man with the fear that he would hit me back and there's not much I can do. But, it also comes from the perspective that I was taught not to hit and that if your child (as in a 2 year old who is not old enough to full reasoning power) sees you hit someone it gives them the message that hitting is ok, similar to the friend who was disciplining her child by hitting her. She’s saying “don’t hit” as she’s hitting her, it sends a mixed message. We're talking about a 2 year old, more than likely this child isn't even going to remember this incident, but (maybe) will remember the message that was sent. The message that I would like to send to my kid is "Hitting is harmful and I will protect you from harm". Like I said, if my child's welfare was in danger and this was more than just a slap then that would be a different situation. I am sure the 2 year old did not fully grasp that what the stranger did was wrong or why and beating him up in front of the child isn’t going to get the message across.

    Posted by CC September 4, 09 03:19 PM
  1. I'm affraid he would be half dead by the time the police got to him from the vicious beating I would have given him. Of course I would have to leave before the police arrived or I myself would have been arrested, I guess I wouldn't mind so much as long as they put us in the same cell for a while.

    Posted by Bob Stutzman September 4, 09 03:53 PM
  1. To let your child know you are angry with them is enough. Parents should discipline, but in a manner as to not encourage other worse behavioral problems such as hitting. I am a biologist and I know it is just a child's innate behavior to throw tantrums, and it could have been a justified reason. My daughter is three and has Chiari malformation type 1. It is a malformation in her cerebellum, and causes acute migraines and they can occur at any time. Point being she screams, but it is justifiable. Unless you settle the child down you can't know the reason. If a man threatened to hit my child believe me he would have never had the chance to land the first one. Parents that hit are lazy and poorly educated if you ask me. I don't mean an occasional spanking but to consider slapping a two year old in the face multiple times is insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by M Williams September 4, 09 03:53 PM
  1. JADA, you may have behaved like an angel for your mother back in the day, but you apparently became a self-centered spoiled adult brat. Do us all a favor and don't attempt to procreate. The last thing the world needs is more people thinking everything revolves around them.

    When my child has a meltdown in WalMart, I do remove her from the store for the sake of everyone, including myself. Childre don't cry just because they're spoiled. As mentioned in the article, it could be a multitude of things.

    Also, when you hit a child, you are not instilling respect in them, you are instilling fear. Some of you who think that smacking your kid make them respect you must be swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool. You should stop having children, as well. Hitting a child is taking the easy way out of effectively disciplining them.

    Posted by JB September 4, 09 04:15 PM
  1. This is why I will never go into a Mall-Wart. It's full of trashy people. And by the way, Grizzly, I did not miss out on "the greatest experience of a woman's life". There are too many people in the world now as it is. And I DO NOT feel guilty about not having spawned. I have a foster son (he's 39 now) in Russia.

    Posted by Liz Pakula September 4, 09 04:16 PM
  1. Hey Jada, and others of her ilk:

    If I don't like something you're doing, do I get to slap you five times in the face? Sweet!

    Posted by Kate September 4, 09 05:08 PM
  1. Sure, the child could be anything under the sun, but if we're going to have so much compassion for the lazy parent, why not some for the slapper - maybe he had a bad day, maybe he got fired, maybe he has no health insurance... blah blah blah.

    There's three pieces to this - no, no one should be slapping other peoples children; yes, many parents don't pay much attention to their kids and how they are affecting the environment they are in; three, sometimes screaming kids are just really friggin annoying, whether you're a parent or not... So before we make the parent and child out to be saints and martyrs, just relax and get over it. We live in an every increasing hyper-sensitive world. Slapping the kid is too much, but so is reacting like this child's life, safety, and health have been forever compromised, give me a break...

    Posted by Slap the dude back... September 4, 09 05:26 PM
  1. The man had no right to slap that child. No one should ever slap a child in the face. I do think the man was right in telling the mother quiet her child. The mother is the one that should have got some sense slapped into her. I just hate it when parents let their children scream and cry. The child could have been sleepy and all it may have needed was a soft mothers touch. Mothers now days have children when they are only children themselves. No the man had no right! BUT sometimes i feel the same way he did!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by splawn September 4, 09 05:49 PM
  1. The man had no right to slap that child. No one should ever slap a child in the face. I do think the man was right in telling the mother quiet her child. The mother is the one that should have got some sense slapped into her. I just hate it when parents let their children scream and cry. The child could have been sleepy and all it may have needed was a soft mothers touch. Mothers now days have children when they are only children themselves. No the man had no right! BUT sometimes i feel the same way he did!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by splawn September 4, 09 05:50 PM
  1. The man had no right to slap that child. No one should ever slap a child in the face. I do think the man was right in telling the mother quiet her child. The mother is the one that should have got some sense slapped into her. I just hate it when parents let their children scream and cry. The child could have been sleepy and all it may have needed was a soft mothers touch. Mothers now days have children when they are only children themselves. No the man had no right! BUT sometimes i feel the same way he did!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by splawn September 4, 09 05:53 PM
  1. This could not have been a sista, if he would have said anything to me or my child all holy hell would have broke lose in walmart...and the title would read a little bit differently, 61 year old man tried to slap 2 year old toddler and was choked out in the middle of isle 15 in wal-mart, by crazy ass black woman.
    How dare he put his hand on someone child.....I would have said something just because the poor child needed someone to defend her, and then I would have cused the parent for not having a backbone and standing up this individual.

    Posted by My Name is Tina September 4, 09 05:55 PM
  1. For those of you harping on how the baby deserved it. Have you seen a two year old? We are talking two here. You should search the net for two years olds get a look at size and read up on child development. Then the height and weight of the man who slapped a two year old. Size comparison, age comparision. developmental comparision. Lets leave the crying out all together. You can not possibly think this was a fair fight. Dont confuse this with discipline which comes from someone who knows if its appropriate and is loving and caring for a child. This was an attack by a stranger who has issues with noise who actively followed the mother and child to another aisle. For all your talk and your horror stories about being locked in elevators for hours with out of control children (most are lies). There is no justification for slapping a baby across the face.
    However there is every justification for a parent losing it and going on the full defensive.

    Posted by Barriah September 4, 09 06:01 PM
  1. This would have never happened if the "mother" had any common decency.

    When my kids started acting up I would take them to the car (or home) until they calmed down. I was always concerned about the other people in the store or restaurant.

    But, today, all too many mothers (it's always mothers) allow their children to scream bloody murder and simply have no concern over anyone else in the store, restaurant, movie theatre, etc.

    It's sheer selfishness and horrendous manners to impose your screaming brat on everyone else. It's just another sign of how much our society and parenthood has deteriorated.

    Posted by BobinVA September 4, 09 06:04 PM
  1. Several years ago, when my daughters were quite young, we were stuck in a plane on the runway in Newark for several hours, due to thunderstorms in the area. My girls started having meltdowns (hungry, tired, hot, wanted to get out of their seats, etc.). The man sitting behind us began loudly complaining about how annoying my children were, and how I should be keeping them under control. After seething for awhile (I too was hungry, tired, hot, etc.), I turned around, and said how lovely it must have been for his parents that he was apparently born fully grown. He shut up.

    Posted by Charlestown mom September 4, 09 06:15 PM
  1. whats up with the double standard between beating children and women..? an assault is an assault

    Posted by daveh September 4, 09 06:17 PM
  1. You mean a dead stranger!

    Posted by David September 4, 09 06:22 PM
  1. I think I would have been charged for attempted murder if anyone tried to lay a finger on any of my children like that. I would have almost choked him to death unless security could get me off him. He deserves a serious beating down.

    Posted by Rob September 4, 09 06:40 PM
  1. A stretcher? H'd be on his way to the morgue if he even flicked a finger at my child. Lord have mercy, there would be nothing left to him. Mental issues or not, and I am a forgiving person, but not when it comes to my children or my dogs.

    Posted by Doug's Mom September 4, 09 06:43 PM
  1. i would get security and the store superviser, if it happened to my child it would happen to others children, then i would file charges with the police

    Posted by Glenn Harris September 4, 09 06:52 PM
  1. I hope the Mom at least slapped him back, if not punched him solidly, then kicked him in the nuts for good measure.
    He's lucky it wasn't my kid.

    Posted by MJT September 4, 09 07:27 PM
  1. If someone had slapped one of my kids ~ lets say the next person he would see is ER DOCTOR........no joking FOLKS - U keep your hands to your self - slapped FOUR or FIVE times MY GOD WHAT was Mom doing - ? Should have taken ANYTHING she had AND hit him with it - PERIOD . OH HELL - I know ~ ALL
    YOU ' BLEEDIN HEARTS OUT THERE" would have went up and hugged him....
    JUST U try and hit one of my grandsons/daughters or great grand
    kids and SEE what happens to YOU........E ~ NOUGH SAID

    Posted by PRichard September 4, 09 08:54 PM
  1. first of all I would say that this is not a case of children stealing and breaking into someones house this is a two year old innocent child who screamed louder afet being slapped read the article and if teachers are not allowed to hit children why would a stranger be allowed to? Second of all hitting is something we teach children not to do and someone who is 61 one is doing it? third it is always against the law to assault another human being even if you hit there purse if it is on purpose it is against the law. Fourth people this is walmart who do you think shops at walmart? Moms with babies that is who, this is not nordstroms or a five star restaurant.Walmart caters to families if You don't like shop somewhere else. For that matter any restaurant or store that caters to families and children if you eat there or shop there that it just too bad for you. If you are eating at mcdonalds and want some peace and quite eat in your car.

    We also don't know how long the child was crying for or what the circumstances are. Think about it people. If my child is crying and I am trying to console her are you going to slap her? If she is crying for a few seconds, minutes? If I am trying to leave the store? If she is teething, sick or just not feeling good? Maybe I am picking up a prescription for a very sick child who can not be left in the car. You don't know the circumstances so how about some compassion or empathy for the parents and kids that would go a lot further and make the world a better place.

    Lastly if that guy had even threatened my child I would have broken his arm and called the cops. Someone like that is probably a child abuser or wife beater or even an animal beater. That is NOT normal behavior.

    Posted by mainermom September 4, 09 09:22 PM
  1. If you think that people should not have kids so you can go to a store and feel comfortable, you are NUTS! Hire a personal shopper, go to a desert island, rainforest, or hide under your bed... whatever it takes so the other people don't have to force themselves to share the same space as you.
    You know who you are!!!

    Posted by HappyMom September 4, 09 09:31 PM
  1. Yup, I would have put that old man down on the floor and he wouldn't have gotten up. You can't just walk around hitting adults, so you certainly can't walk around hitting kids. A 2 year old is defenseless, a baby. If this guy thinks he hit someone else's kid in front of the parent, what does he do when no one is looking? If he's so unstable that he can't control himself, he shouldn't be let loose in society. If the kid bothers you that much, leave the store, complain to management, whatever.

    That being said, since I have the LUXURY of having my husband watch my son, I haven't found myself stuck in a situation where I can't walk out of a store if my child is unhappy - and I am thankful for that LUXURY. But not everyone has that LUXURY. What if this child was sick and the mother was at the store trying to find some sort of medicine to make the kid feel better, frantically reading the fine print of all the medicine labels, unable to call a doctor for help because she didn't have health insurance? There's a lot we don't know about this story, but the background story doesn't matter. Assault is assault. My baby can't defend himself, so I will do it for him. I was actually dismayed to read that all she did was scream, but maybe the shock of it was too much.

    Posted by Karen September 4, 09 10:54 PM

  1. I WOULDN'T HAVE TIME 2 CALL THE PO-PO BECAUSE I WOULD BE ON HIS ASS AND THAT'S REAL TALK!!!

    Posted by sum serious September 4, 09 11:03 PM
  1. ASS GRASS...RING A BELL?

    Posted by BOSS LADY September 4, 09 11:15 PM
  1. The fact that this old geeze was able to get 4 or 5 slaps in before he was restrained makes me think maybe mom wasn't paying attention. Freaky old dudes don't get within 10 feet of my kid without me being all over their wrinkly asses. This fossil would have been lucky to get one slap in before I ran my shopping cart into his groin.

    Posted by Tenfootradius September 4, 09 11:32 PM
  1. If that guy it one of my kids I would kill him. It would be the last act of his life. I would literally end his life.

    Posted by Jay September 4, 09 11:55 PM
  1. So the old dude was from Stone Mountain, Georgia, the home of the Klu Klux Klan. That ought to give you a clue as to why he behaved as he did. Wish I was there to administer some Northern Hospitality..

    Posted by Sky Arrow September 5, 09 12:06 AM
  1. Headlock, while I yelled, "call the police!"
    I'm only 5'2", but when my child is threatened, ooo the adrenalin hits.
    I wouldn't wrestle him to the ground and beat his head against the floor unless he struggled. Wouldn't want to muddy the prosecution by assaulting him as well.

    Posted by lagibbytoo September 5, 09 12:20 AM
  1. this is the funniest story i have heard all month
    HAH H AH AH AH AHA

    kid probably deserved it

    Posted by louie September 5, 09 01:51 AM
  1. I would kick him where it counts!

    Posted by Mary September 5, 09 08:11 AM
  1. I love this repeated argument: "She could have been hungry, sick, tired, wanted a toy, etc."

    1) Isn't hunger easily remedied BEFORE a shopping trip?
    2) Tired and sick children need to be home in bed, not out gallivanting. As pointed out in other posts (by people who would beat a man to death after their neglected child wandered into a dangerous situation), parents of sick children could easily use the Internet to shop while their children are sick.
    3) Having a negative reaction to toy denial is common; however, some parents handle this better than others. I think the parents that would bring a sick, tired, hungry (i.e. neglected) child out shopping would not consider other shoppers' perspectives in the 20 minute, ear-drum shattering scream scenario.

    By the responses of the "hungry, sick, tired, wanted a toy, etc." crowd, are complete strangers to assume that a screaming child's basic needs (food/rest) are not being met by their parents? If people witness this behavior, should social services be called? What is, exactly, the village's responsibility in these situations?

    Posted by Crappy Parents Always Have Excuses Never Consideration for their Children or Others September 5, 09 09:00 AM
  1. I would have found the closest glass bottle or sharp object and hit him over the back of head with it. Or maced him and then shanked him in the neck/lung with a sharp object. Then I would be the one taken away. If any man tried to get near my niece or nephew , he would have to fight me to the death first. Hell have no fury like a momma bear protecting her baby cubs. The old man should be grateful he did not run into me or he would be on a ventilator.

    Posted by Marsha Gilmore September 5, 09 09:19 AM
  1. I would have a hard time not killing someone who slapped my child. I would certainly have attacked him with whatever I had handy. THEN I would have called the police.

    Posted by bobi September 5, 09 09:32 AM
  1. What is all this "don't have kids to make the rest of us miserable" garbage? You were all kids at one time...or maybe that's the problem, you never grew up and still think like a self-centered child.

    No matter what the mom was or wasn't doing there is NO excuse for what that guy did. Kudos to the other shopper who restrained him until help arrived.

    Posted by LizM September 5, 09 09:53 AM
  1. Oh, they'd be calling the cops alright - for protecting the old man after I gave him the beating of his life...

    Posted by ME September 5, 09 10:27 AM
  1. Jada,
    Why are you even on this board? It sounds like you don't or ever will have kids so it doesn't make sense that you would even have an opinion. You have no idea why this kid was crying! Back in the day, your mom gave your blankie to shut you up??!! Really?? you know for a fact that you never had a fit in public at the age of 2? i find that hard to believe. People like you, who don't understand that kids are kids and they are not perfect. You're the entitled one..Don't shop at stores where kids may be if you don't want to be around them. Why should we have to make all the accomodations for people like you? Go waste your time somewhere else.

    Posted by kkcv September 5, 09 11:27 AM
  1. #173 - "2) Tired and sick children need to be home in bed, not out gallivanting. As pointed out in other posts (by people who would beat a man to death after their neglected child wandered into a dangerous situation), parents of sick children could easily use the Internet to shop while their children are sick." // The guy STILL had no business slapping the toddler (and overkill much? FOUR times!) // You are addressing a DIFFERENT issue. In my crummy neighborhood, I often see young (teens, early 20s) out late at night with their exhausted children, because the parents want a social life and either don't want or can't afford to get a sitter. What selfish parents (NOT blaming the kids!!). If they wanted a social life that young, they should have either terminated the pregnancy, or placed the baby for adoption. Not everyone deserves to be a parent.

    Posted by reindeergirl September 5, 09 12:57 PM
  1. I would whip his ass if that was my child, police would have to arrested me for murder in this case. This guy needs to be slapped around few times or kidded in the face and then we can ask him if he liked it at all. Fucking old people they make me sick.......

    Posted by ALH September 5, 09 12:58 PM
  1. I do wish that old guy was on the T line I have to ride. Yakety-yak-yak ADULTS, on cell phones all the time, screaming into their phones about nonsense. These same "grown-ups" ignore their needy child because the call is oh-so-important. What happened to sex ed classes in the schools? What happened to the heyday of birth control for youngsters?

    Far worse than a crying child, IMHO, is the yakking on cell-phones. Can't we get cell-phone free T's?

    Posted by reindeergirl September 5, 09 01:03 PM
  1. #75 (Omar) - You "Praise Jesus," yet condone spanking? Go wash your moutn - and brain - out with soap.

    Posted by reindeergirl September 5, 09 01:06 PM
  1. Just another reason to avoid shopping @walmart, silly rabbits, slapping kids, Yes, he should have slapped the mom. No Bail: too bad Georgia doesn't keep real criminals in jail for such a minor incident. I suppose the residents no feel real safe, that a poor stupid fool who was trying to sent the woman a message: shut your kid up, it is not all about you,
    control your children! Attention walmart shoppers, slaps half off on aisle 12!

    Posted by jj September 5, 09 01:20 PM
  1. Slapping a child 4 or 5 times in the face is Not discipline, that is abuse. If he had done it to an adult he woluld be facing criminal charges it should be double for doing it to a child. For all of you talking about single mothers unruly children are not confined to single mothers or fathers. If you want to discipline a child spank it on the bottom not in its face.

    Posted by Jen September 5, 09 01:38 PM
  1. Reindeergirl - how do you relate praising jesus and spanking? What, I can't discipline my kid and praise God? Your'e the one without a brain...

    You spank them when they need it when they are young, and you won't have to deal with that baloney for a lonnnnng time...

    Posted by ME September 5, 09 04:57 PM
  1. I would be arrested for assault. You're right, violence is not the answer, but that would not have stopped me -- of course, trouble would have began when he first threatened violence.... Hopefully, I would be calm enough to alert security at the initial threat.

    Posted by Meredith September 5, 09 05:11 PM
  1. First the man would have not even got close enough to my child to slap him/her,as soon as he said "either you shut up your child or I will" that would indicate to me a red flag and I would let the man have a piece of my mind and he would have to deal with me,I can not believe the mother let him even hit her daughter not only once but four times,or even come as close as he did to her child,and for any reason if he did get to my child and hit him/her, i would claw that mother f****** eyes out and I would be in prison the rest of my life for killing him.I dont care who you are you have no right to assult anyone. Especially a hel;pless 2 year ild. What is this world coing to?

    Posted by Krystalyn September 5, 09 09:00 PM
  1. Looks like the "childfree" people who spend their precious "freedom" talking about other people's children for hours on end are here. Yawn.

    Posted by Infoferret September 6, 09 12:13 AM
  1. I had a similar thing happen to me while in a super market in Alabama, a man slapped my 3 year olds' hand, he felt my fist hit him in the face, cops came, situation was explained and I was exonerated by self-defense. Not sure how this would go over in the Socialist Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but in Good Ol Alabama, the individual has the right to defend his and his families rights. Guy ended up with a broken jaw. I finished my shopping and went to the house.

    Posted by Mark from Alabama September 6, 09 04:28 AM
  1. It's amazing how many people say that they would beat up the old man. They are preaching violence to combat violence. When does the cycle end? Do they also teach their kids to combat violence with violence? At least in this case, there was no additional violence. The man was arrested and hopefully will be prosecuted.

    Posted by Douglas Peeke September 6, 09 08:18 AM
  1. I applaud the other shopper who restrainted this violent man. I would have quickly picked up my child to comfort him/her and grabbed the man's shirt with my other hand and shook him, asking him repeatedly if he were crazy. I would have called for help and had him arrested, absolutely. What is wrong with people? Children cry and they are a part of life. I guess that man must have experienced a lot of violence when he was a child, to think that is the way to handle a situation. Does he go around slapping adults if they are talking too loud in stores, or does he just get his kicks out of beating children?

    Posted by Nancy September 6, 09 10:11 AM
  1. I don't have any kids but have plenty of friends who do. If I saw another person hit a child of mine or a friends' child of mine I would knock that person out. OK....not really but I would want to. I would grab the person though and tell them to back off.

    Posted by Paul September 6, 09 10:11 AM
  1. Does anyone here really believe this full grown man slapped a 2 year old 4 or 5 times across the face and the only evidence of that was a slightly red cheek? No split lip, no bruising?

    I'm not excusing it, there's no excuse for it, obviously the man has anger issues and possibly some diminished capacity. I'm glad the police were called, I'm glad he'll get some help.

    Now let this be a lesson to those irresponsible, inattentive parents who think it's OK to totally ignore their ill behaved children as they disrupt whatever venue, impacting everyone around them and their ability to enjoy that venue.

    I'm dang tired of leaving restaurants, theaters & parks because little Bobby is screaming for twenty minutes non stop while Mom completely ignores it & doesn't make the decision to remove him. If it's 4 pm on Saturday & you've been traipsing little Jenny from store to store since 9 am, please take her home. She's tired & hungry, you've pushed her way beyond the tolerance level of a small child and it's time to go home.

    I won't even go into the morons who knowingly take their little one on a plane, without planning multiple methods of entertaining the child.

    We live in a diverse society, not everyone is wrapped all that tight. You can go about your business trying not to adversely impact others and therefore keep yourself out of this type of situation, or you can invite it.

    Posted by Michele September 6, 09 10:15 AM
  1. I don't have children but am appalled at this guy's actions. However, some parents seem to have forgotten that it's a free country and other people are still allowed to be irritated by screaming children, whether you like it or not.

    It's one thing to have a screaming kid. It's another to totally ignore the screaming kid in a public place, like what I experienced a few weeks ago at a JC Penney's. Parents just yakking away in conversation while the kid in a stroller is pitching a complete fit. Unbelieveable.

    Posted by qb qt September 6, 09 10:38 AM
  1. As my friend says, I'd go Springer on him!

    Posted by Jennifer September 6, 09 10:50 AM
  1. I would punch him in his face as hard as I could!

    Posted by mr.insightful September 6, 09 11:37 AM
  1. There is a certain scene in the movie "American History X" that I would reenact whole-heartedly should a stranger put their hands on my child. And I think making him bite the curb for a good "curb-stomping" would have been an appropriate lesson.

    As to saying that violence perpetuates violence and that being arrested is enough, I fear that my maternal instincts trump any mercy I may have felt at that moment. It's a child. A CHILD. Someone must defend and place vengeance for the innocent.

    Posted by LvlyRenee September 6, 09 11:50 AM
  1. The parent probably couldn't shut the child up or discipline him without just leaving the store. It seems that children especially younger ones just want until you are in the store to start crying. And they wont stop. The parents try to hurry up with their shopping but they get more aggravated by the minute. And others customers complaining doesn't help.

    I think children shouldn't be taken to the store. Find someone to watch them. A babysitter, a child day care. Something. There is always something available. Shopping at Walmart is difficult enough without having to put up with a bunch of screaming kids.

    I think the old man was wrong in slapping the kid but yet what is there that is the right thing? Just deal with it? Why should the old man leave the store? Perhaps that was the only day he could shop. I don't see why he would should.

    Maybe Walmart should think about having a daycare for kids to be dropped off as the parents are shopping?

    I don't like to hear crying kids either. It gets on my nerves. But I am limited to how and when I am able to go shopping also. And I wouldn't like to be made feel that I should leave the store and come back at a later time to do my shopping.

    I just bite my tongue and give the parents of a screaming kid dirty looks. I would like to say something but I don't do it. I would like to tell the parent to shut that screaming brat up. Isn't there a law against noise abuse or something?

    Posted by Carol September 6, 09 01:08 PM
  1. Children, especially 2-yr olds, are learning about social boundaries. Every experience at home and out in public are opportunites to learn about acceptable behavior. A fit from a 2-yr old could mean anything--tired, hungry, or just not getting their way. Parents often have to choose their battles and must assert that bad behavior will not earn a child anything. "Controlling" a child by appeasing them with a favorite toy or threatening them is not teaching. Sometimes some kind words or gentle admonishment from a stranger will go a long way for a child to realize the impact of his/her behavior. A slap or physical violence will instill fear. For those of you without children, somebody taught you how to behave properly in public--thanks for your patience while we teach the next generation. A different way is not necesaryily a bad way.

    Posted by MP September 6, 09 02:21 PM
  1. I always wonder about the parents that just let their kids just cry on and on and on...They seem to be pretty clueless, and the world would probably be a better if some of these folks never had a child(ren), but what this clown did is inexcusable, and he should go to jail on and assault and battery charge. Make an example of this fool, and send him to jail for at least 1 year. As a husband, if this happened on my wife's watch, and she could handle this individual, I would hunt him down and give him a whuppin' he would not forget.

    Posted by DB22 September 6, 09 02:25 PM
  1. I don't think I would have let it gotten to the point that a stranger would discipline my child. When I was growing up, if any of us were out of control, my mother would just leave the store--cart full of groceries, etc.--and take us home. I would rather have someone be aware that his/her child is screaming incessantly, than have them ignore it, and continue shopping. It's unfair to assume all of us want to listen to that...as some of the others have mentioned, get a babysitter and leave your child at home.

    And, those who mentioned not allowing anyone else to discipline your children, what happens when they go to school, and the teacher, principal, etc. has to discipline them? Are you going to get upset with the teacher for trying to maintain her classroom?

    Please, people...just THINK first....thanks!

    Posted by EMC September 6, 09 03:33 PM
  1. The man who slapped the child was certainly in the wrong and should be punished but there is NO EXCUSE for letting a child yell, cry and scream in a public place. As a parent you handle it. So often these days parents do not parent. They do not teach their children what is acceptable or hold them to any standards. To make an excuse and say the child was overtired etc is just more namby pamby Hogwash. When my Mom or Dad told me to be quiet I did. Fear is a great motivator for childen. We just dont exercise it often enough.

    Posted by Tiredofwimpyparents September 6, 09 03:48 PM
  1. I'd bust their nose, if I was feeling generous..

    Posted by Justin Case September 6, 09 05:05 PM
  1. I really just don't get it! This man threatened her! He threatened the mother beforehand why did she not report him?
    I've read elsewhere: "Yes, people do threaten, “jokingly” or otherwise, to physically assault a child for crying, quite often."
    WTF? This has never happened to me or anyone I know - if people are threatening your child "quite often" you might want to try a parenting class, or better yet consider putting the child up for adoption!

    Posted by MsManners September 6, 09 05:19 PM
  1. leave the little brats at home

    Posted by roger September 6, 09 05:30 PM
  1. definitely assault. i am speechless. thank god the child is so young and won't remember being physically assaulted by a stranger.

    i have never physically disciplined my children. tantrums usually have a basis in strong emotions, and if you teach your children how to voice and channel those emotions, they learn emotional regulation. a child who breaks rules can be disciplined by taking away privileges. hitting is abuse. always, except in self-defense.

    hitting is abuse. i say it again. maybe if we stop using physical discipline, we will raise non-abusers. have you seen the stats for child and domestic abuse? hitting is abuse.

    i don't want my children to fear me. i want them to respect and love me. my two children are wonderful, polite, caring, respectful, and considerate. i am very proud of them.

    i hope they stick that man in jail. what a creep. the words i would like to use would not be published here.

    Posted by Chloe September 6, 09 06:52 PM
  1. I recently witnessed a mother roughing up her own kid in the check out at a grocery store - the child was merely being whiny, probably a perpetual state for the poor thing due to parental indifference to his existence. I spoke up, saying there has got to be a better way of handling the situation and barely made it out of there alive. Other shoppers and the cashier screamed at me and called me choice names! It was mind boggling. It is also mind boggling that this guy who assaulted another human being was only charged with cruelty to a child - why doesn't a child warrant the more serious charge of assault?

    Posted by cantstandya September 6, 09 08:02 PM
  1. I would show him my Glock .40

    Posted by NH Native September 6, 09 09:03 PM
  1. even as a parent I get annoyed when other people's children are screaming incessantly. When my autistic son was young and prone to tantrums, guess what... I DIDN'T take him to the store or mall (imagine?). However, no one can assume what the situation was here beyond what is reported, and if some SOB or B ever touched my kid for any reason, I'd be hauled away for attempted murder. End of story.

    Posted by smbrooks1 September 6, 09 11:17 PM
  1. Hey Louie 171 I say we all find you and SLAP THE SNOT RIGHT OUT OF YOU JAGOFF!!!

    Posted by John D September 6, 09 11:43 PM
  1. # 96...

    " Plus, any 61-year old white guy from Stone Mountain, GA is going to be a huge Clinton / Obama fan."

    I live in Stone Mountain now and this town is pretty conservative, considering it's where the KKK was revived in 1915.

    From the latest artivles, the man probably has mental illness.

    Posted by Concordian living in Stone Mtn. September 7, 09 12:10 AM
  1. I would tell him he should run for cover!!!!!!!

    Posted by momof1 September 7, 09 01:41 AM
  1. Clearly assault and battery - it is unfortunate that the parent did not stand between this thug and their child and invoke their - and their child's - own right of self-defense...

    Put this cretin to work bustin' rocks...and the sooner, the better...

    Creep...

    Posted by CrookedPolsAndCEOs September 7, 09 02:34 AM
  1. Face the facts: A two year old is really still a baby. And what do two year olds do? They cry! I don't even remember being two years old, so for any of you posters to hint that this was okay (even in the most roundabout way) suggests that you've either never dealt with kids, or completely lost your parental instincts.

    Posted by Steve September 7, 09 02:51 AM
  1. I would return the physical abuse then get a lawyer and make him even more miserable then he is.

    Posted by Wow September 7, 09 08:59 AM
  1. This fills me with conflicting emotions. I'm the child-free person who always, always tries to distract a fussy baby or toddler in the checkout line with smiles, goofy faces, and peek-a-boo. Every parent needs an inning of relief pitching, and I can suck it up for a few minutes to make everybody's life a little easier. They're BABIES, for goodness' sake. Their brains aren't done yet. That this man felt it was okay to assault a toddler for the sin of crying makes him unfit to breathe free air.

    Yet I can also remember being in a restaurant that was mostly quiet, save for a few of us on the perimeter and a large extended family in the center. A couple of the children, probably aged 5 or so, were running and running all over the restaurant while the adults did nothing. More than once the waitress nearly tripped over them--once almost spilling a huge tray of very hot hot-and-sour soups all over the kid. I would have been first in line to testify at the civil suit--for the restaurant. What do you do when parents won't control their children in a public space and the lack of control presents a threat to the children's safety or the safety of others?

    Posted by gidgetcommando September 7, 09 09:39 AM
  1. Citizens arrest and civil lawsuit ... if I was able to restrain myself from kicking his posterior :-)

    Posted by Irish-lad September 7, 09 10:47 AM
  1. People who choose to have children are selfish, irresponsible egomaniacs.

    The world is running out of resources, but these people need to have little monuments to themselves because their legacy is so scary important.

    Posted by Freud September 7, 09 12:19 PM
  1. Some kids just need to be slapped. That's the end of the story.

    Posted by Colonel Colonel September 7, 09 01:02 PM
  1. obnoxious kids&parents should be slapped more often, or what?

    Posted by josephine September 7, 09 01:43 PM
  1. I am shocked and saddened at the number of people who seem to blame kids/parents when the child is crying. There are a LOT worse things in the world than that! Children, especially young ones like a 2 year-old, do not have the control yet to stop crying and most kids that young cry because they are hungry, tired, overwhelmed etc. It happens. When my daughter would meltdown I would be clam and try to reassure her; sometimes it worked, sometimes not. Everyone I encountered in those situations was kind and understood. She was not trying to annoy or bug anyone else; she was being TWO.
    If anyone laid a finger on my child or me for that matter, you'd better be prepared for a throw-down.

    Posted by Trixie September 7, 09 04:16 PM
  1. Me? I would have beaten this guy like a rented mule.

    Posted by pat cat September 7, 09 06:43 PM
  1. My wife would have called me and by the time I was done, the guy and any of his friends wouldn't look at another child again.

    Posted by Dave Bennett September 7, 09 08:52 PM
  1. This topic has been beaten to death
    No pun intended :)
    can you take this down now?

    Posted by ava September 7, 09 08:56 PM
  1. You don't hit people, end of story. The guy lost his fool mind and was way out of line. He deserves to be jailed, no matter what was going on.

    That said? How can you have someone - a stranger - tell you more than once that your child is obnoxious and not even carry the kid outside for a few minutes to try to calm them down? My mother did that with me - if I was pitching a tantrum, regardless of why, she carried me out and waited until I was fit to be around other humans. If someone tells you that your kid if annoying them, and you're in public? Go elsewhere for a while. You have a duty to everyone, not just your offspring. The self-righteous "My child, my rules, you can leave if my kid's screaming is making your ears bleed while you hunt up some vegetables." attitude is just continuing the cycle of self-absorbed useless brats.

    Posted by Kate September 7, 09 09:39 PM
  1. Bottom line, That is assault. What if he didnt like the sales clerk? No one has the right to physically hit anyone especially a child. Kids throw tantrums all the time. Anyone who thinks it is by lack of a parents guidence does not have children. People who say...I never did that...yeah ya did you just dont remember you were 2. They hit a certain age where they are just unruly then they get past it. As a parent you try to avoid going to a store if possible but sometimes you have to if you are low on milk or diapers of some necessity. Believe me it is least fun for the parent of that unreasonable toddler. So many factors contribute to a situation with a 2yr old. They all go threw it and they all get past it. I would hope if this man had the audacity to say something let alone strike my child that I could refrain myself from ripping his head off until the police arrived and I let the system handle the crime. Because letting the police handle it would be the right thing to do. I would definitely press charges for assault to my child.

    Posted by Linda A September 7, 09 10:27 PM
  1. I'd slap 'em back. No excuse for hitting my child.

    Posted by plattsburghsox September 7, 09 11:00 PM
  1. Should he have slapped the child? NO...However as Dear Abby once said, "a crying child is like a New Years resolution...it should be carried out". If the mother had left the store with the child until it calmed down or stopped crying, none of this would have happened.

    Posted by J September 8, 09 12:06 AM
  1. People from Georgia are just weird.

    Posted by Smarmy Jack September 8, 09 01:36 AM
  1. It's assault and battery.

    Posted by bob September 8, 09 02:38 AM
  1. Parenting isn’t easy; sometimes children can be a real challenge. It can be particularly difficult when parents and children are struggling in public and others are staring. A crying baby, a cranky toddler, a bad day at work, or too much to do and too little time…all of these things can affect how a parent responds to his or her child and how we, the general public, respond to them. We’ve all had bad days. That is why it is so important that we step in helpfully when we see a parent or child struggling. Not in judgment, anger or criticism (as we see with Mr. Stephens of Stone Mountain). But rather, with a kind word, a helping hand, a sympathetic smile or a simple distraction. This may be all that it takes to make a parent’s day, or keep a child safe and happy. To learn more about stepping in when parents and children are having a difficult time, visit www.onekindword.org.

    Posted by Christine P September 8, 09 10:43 AM
  1. he never would have made it out of the store ALIVE!!

    Posted by disguted September 8, 09 01:24 PM
  1. I'm not very big on violence, but you don't touch anyone else's kids. I know if that was my child, I would have beat him down. I would have made sure that he would have thought twice about touching mines. Thta does not make any sense. What was he thinking slapping a 2 year old and especially not his child?

    Posted by Kami J September 8, 09 11:38 PM
  1. Great article. While nobody loves to hear a screaming child, as a parent I know (as I've been in this mother's shoes MANY TIMES) that sometimes there just isn't anything you can do about it and it's just easier to let the kid cry and HURRY LIKE CRAZY to get out of the store.

    Just because we have a two-year-old doesn't mean our lives stop. We still have things we need to get done, places to go, etc.

    Posted by Jill September 9, 09 11:26 AM
  1. Jill, it's people like you that are the problem:
    "While nobody loves to hear a screaming child, as a parent I know (as I've been in this mother's shoes MANY TIMES) that sometimes there just isn't anything you can do about it and it's just easier to let the kid cry and HURRY LIKE CRAZY to get out of the store.

    Just because we have a two-year-old doesn't mean our lives stop. We still have things we need to get done, places to go, etc."

    Your life doesn't stop when you have a kid but it sure as hell should change!
    Why should 100 people in a store have to listen to your kid screaming? Because it's 'easier' for you?

    "...maybe the child was sick" What in earth's name are you doing bringing a sick child to the hotbed of germs that is a Wal-Mart? A sick child should be in home in bed!

    "...maybe the child was hungry" Last I heard, feeding a child resolves that issue fairly quickly.

    "...maybe the child was tired." Again, while it might be inconvenient for the parent, a nap will 'fix' that problem within a half hour or so!

    And my all time favorite, in response to the tried and true sensible parenting tip 'Remove the child from the situation' :
    "...sometimes it's just not possible to remove a cranky / crying / etc. child from the situation, have you seen the lines at Wal-Mart?"

    It is ALWAYS possible to remove your child from a situation. STOP using that excuse! Be honest! It is not always convenient for YOU to do so. You are not doing your child any favors with inconsistent parenting.

    If your child is cranky, tired, hungry, sick, in pain, etc. it is the pinnacle of bad parenting to bring them into a situation with the overwhelming sensory input of a Wal-Mart!

    Children are not stupid, they learn very quickly if they are treated to consistent, logical rules!
    If you believe the world should revolve around you and your schedule and it's 'easier' to put a child through that then maybe you should get a puppy instead - although you'll probably decide it's too inconvenient to train it!

    Posted by MsManners September 11, 09 07:07 AM
  1. I see many many people commenting that no one has the right to discipline someone elses child. What this man did was ABUSE -not discipline. A swat on the bottom could be called discipline - done in love by the parent. This was a big 61 year old strange man beating on a baby. He should be horse whipped!

    Posted by Jillian Armit September 13, 09 09:24 PM
  1. I would have broken his arm. My children are usually well behaved in the store, and we often receive compliments about their behavior. But I have had to go in during nap time to pick up stuff before I went to work & they have sometimes cried in the store. You have one extreme to the other. I actually saw a man apply his hand to the backside of a 4-year-old boy & have the police called on him for disciplining his own kid for acting wild and being rude.

    Posted by strict parent September 18, 09 10:11 PM
  1. I have a response to gi gi. People who chose to have kids and take them out in public need to be resposible enough to manage them. The key word is RESPONSIBILTY.

    Posted by Dan December 13, 09 11:41 PM
  1. For mom2J and Charleston mom above, the key is being a RESPONSIBLE parent. Take RESPONSIBILITY for your kids and take care of their needs.

    Posted by Dan December 14, 09 12:02 AM
  1. I am hearing a common theme here.You don't have the right to hit my child but I do. No you don't. Period. Hitting anyone for any reason is assault. The "it's okay for me to hit my kid as if I own them" is not your call, it's the law. The old man that was mentioned was raised with the same WRONG thinking that you have if you think hitting is an answer. Restraining your children and letting them cry is just fine. They will get over it after a while when you ignore them unless they behave. Children want your attention, if they don't act right you don't give it to them. If the only attention your kid gets is when they act bad and you hit them, then they will continue to act bad until you hit them just to get your attention. We all have things to do but if you have to take your child out in public, talk with them while you go. Let them know what you are doing. Emposwer your child to act right. If they aren't old enough to understand they need to be at a sitter's, with your mom, etc. NOT in public. The rest of us who don't hit our children (and that is the majority now) will want to beat you when you hit your own kid. The idiots who you see hollering, "You want to cry, I'll teach you to cry!" and then hit the kid so they scream louder, is an idiot and if you hit your kid for any reason, remember the guys in prison who beat someone to death were taught by parents like you that hitting someone makes you right. The bigger you are you can be in control if you just hit someone. If you think that is okay, think about how you would feel if you went to court and had a traffic violation that angered the judge and he heard you plead guilty and said, "Bailif, beat that moron!" and they proceded to kick your ass. He is the authority, you were wrong, by your way of thinking, why not? Is that the kind of thinking you want to teach a child? When you see someone hitting a child you just have to wonder how insecure are you that you think you deserve to treat another human being like that. Like you said, there are people like me who have walked up and smacked the parent a couple times and ask them how they liked it, when I was young and didn't care about getting arrested myself. What did you teach a child by hitting them? Nothing except they should fear you. You may be telling yourself that you are teaching them something but actually are just venting your anger on them. Everyone in prison who "accidently" killed their child will tell you they were trying to do the same thing, just teach them something and they just got carried away or something accidently happened. Like the guy who hits his kid with a belt and then accidently hits them in the eye with the buckle, blinded the child in one eye, and is now doing twenty years for mayhem. STUPID!

    Posted by Arizona Mildman February 2, 10 06:50 AM
  1. When my wife and I would go out, If our daughter would act up and start crying, we would tell her to stop crying or we would leave. Well, we would end up leaving and come back when the issue was solved. But if someone would slap my daughter like that child was slapped at Walmart, I would break every single finger in that person's hand that had struck my child. My wife can bail me out later. There are numerous reasons as to why a child might be acting up and crying. It could be from being hungry, needing to be changed, teething, just being a little rascal, tired, or an internal medical issue etc. . . Even if the child is a toddler. But hitting someone else's child is just wrong. If the parent's can't stop the child from crying, they should remove the issue from the area that is bothering the other people until the situation is better. But some parents don't understand that the issue at hand can be disrupting, and they are too ignorant to see it is opposing a problem to others around them. So the person or people who are having an issue should politely ask the parent or parents if there is anything they can do to help solve the situation. If not, the one's having the issues should let the business know if applicable and have the issue removed from the establishment. Just my opinion. .

    Posted by Shiloh Ray February 3, 10 01:20 AM
  1. OMG People...I didn't read all the responses BUT why in the world would anyone think "crying" is a reason for DISCIPLINE? What if this had been an adult sitting outside of Walmart 'crying' - should we slap people (of ANY age) that are in distress?

    Posted by Julie-in Hawaii - working on Child Abuse laws December 6, 11 06:59 PM
 
246 comments so far...
  1. I think we are all missing the point. No one I do mean No one has the right to take it upon them selves to discipline someone else's child. A 2yr old. Don't know why she was crying but the 61yr old should have left the area or even better the store. We have all heard of the terrible 2's and it could have been for any number of reason why the child was crying. Now on the other hand, the 61yr old would have just had the chance to raise his hand before he realized that it was broken.

    Posted by HOW DARE YOU September 3, 09 01:46 PM
  1. I would put the beat down on him

    Posted by j2 September 3, 09 01:52 PM
  1. he would have gotten a beat down with every can or bottle i could have found in the store, but i would have been nice enough to call the paramedics for him (and the police). How could someone HIT YOUR CHILD 4 TIMES!!!! Was the mother in shock or just stupid

    Posted by pearl September 3, 09 01:57 PM
  1. Umm, "See I told you I would shut her up" is just a ridiculous statement because I'm quite sure she was probably screaming even louder. Reminds me of my neighbor who when he hit my 2 year old with a shovel his grandmother came over and hit him about 10 times saying over and over "we do not hit, we do not hit". I wonder where he learned to hit my child?

    I think the minute the man threatened my child I would call the store manager and the police although my first instinct would be to slap him right back.

    Posted by Jayne September 3, 09 02:24 PM
  1. I have to tell you that as a near 40-year-old woman I have many times wanted to slap the faces of the dozens of selfish mothers per store who come in and make my shopping experience miserable because they chose to have children and bring them to the store to scream and cry and give me a headache. If a child is crying for 40 minutes straight there is something wrong. They're hungry, spoiled, or have a physical or mental problem. But I ask you think mothers....What does that have to do with me? I was a kid and I asked my mother and she said I never threw a fit in Woolco (Wal-mart of us back in the day) she always fed us, and brought our favorite toy to the store and put us in the basket so we wouldn't terrorize others. If you can't control your kid take them home, get a babysitter, go to the store during light shopping times. I shouldn't have to run from your screaming kid while you're shopping and ignoring their plea for your attention, food or just out of your entitlement.

    Posted by Jada September 3, 09 02:29 PM
  1. I too have been angry at parents who allow a child to have a meltdown in a store - but that certainly doesn't mean I get to slap the kid (the parent, maybe?)

    Another important point here is that the article did not say that the child was throwing a tantrum or having a meltdown. The child may have had a perfectly legitimate reason for crying - her foot might have been stuck in the shopping cart, or she was stuck by a hanger. The fact that the child was crying does not mean that the child was misbehaving or acting badly. In that context, this guy's behavior is especially appalling.

    That said, if some stranger had slapped my child, I doubt I could have stopped myself from ripping his face off. I would probably kill him. I just don't think I could control myself.

    Posted by Nancy G September 3, 09 03:25 PM
  1. Oh they would have had to call the police alright!! I would have been beating an old man the minute he touched my child. I am a single mother, and there are times when someone else watching my child isn't an option. We don't intend on ruining other peoples shopping times JADA, children are children. They may be perfectly fine one minute and the next it's fit city. Sometimes it takes a spanking to straiten them out, sometimes not. Yes parents need to control their children. But they are CHILDREN, BABIES AT THAT!! A two year is not an adult!

    Posted by Lee September 3, 09 03:26 PM
  1. No one slaps my children and the poor man would have been free as a bird I on the other hand would have been locked up for many years for assault on the elderly. Don't get me wrong I am the mother of 3 and the grand mother of 7 with one on the way and I have spanked my child and my grandchildren I am a true believer in spare the rod spoil the child. But no one touched my child but me. "no one" and for all of you critics who can't wait to call me a child abuser for spanking "my" child, just remember, All those parents who didn't spank their children are why we have all these child molesters, thieves and parent killers cause mommy and daddy didn't discipline them and now the world is paying the price! "Spare the rod Spoil the child ruin the World"

    Posted by meme1 September 3, 09 03:27 PM
  1. "No one I do mean No one has the right to take it upon them selves to discipline someone else's child."

    This is what is wrong with the world.

    Posted by selver September 3, 09 03:34 PM
  1. Totally agree with jada...while I would not hit your child...i would be thinking about it. We were simply told the ground rules before we ever entered the store. And tantrums were not allowed or my mother would simply leave the basket where it was walk us to the parking lot, "take care of business," and you better believe, there would be no more crying.

    Posted by ace September 3, 09 03:37 PM
  1. No one has the right to hit ANYONE. It doesn't matter why the kid was crying. They were right to call the police and the police was right to book him for assault, I don't care if it was your two year old or your grandmother or you. NO ONE has the right to assault another person.

    Posted by babs September 3, 09 03:43 PM
  1. I agree with Nancy. I don't think I could control myself if someone touch my two year old. I think I would be in total shock at first, then I would have grab something hit him right over the head.

    Posted by TAM September 3, 09 03:51 PM
  1. You never, ever slap a 2 year old. If the child is acting up, just ask the Mom or Dad if they could take the kid outside for a minute, call security if the child is really unruly, or ask if there is something you can do to help the kid. There is NEVER a reason to hit a two year old. If the parent back talks you (the age old "Don't you tell me how to raise my child!" nonsense o_0 Honey, if your kid is being so loud that people are leaving the store, then the store manager has every right to ask you to leave), then report them to the store. At that age, it's not the kid's fault for crying, it's the parent's fault for not thinking ahead or of other shoppers around them.

    I am by no means saying the mother in this particular case did anything wrong what so ever. The male (he's not a man since no man would ever think of hurting a child) in this case was abominably wrong. However, sometimes things do esculate to the point where people wonder how anything like that could ever happen. I'm sure we'll get more of the story later.

    Posted by Elizabeth September 3, 09 03:59 PM
  1. "No one I do mean No one has the right to take it upon them selves to discipline someone else's child."

    "This is what is wrong with the world."

    AAAAMEN Selver.

    I'm not saying that what this man did was right, but saying that NO ONE has the right to discipline another persons child? I'm sorry, but if I'm walking down the street and I see your child breaking into a neighbors car or house, I would make NO HESITATION to pull them from what they're doing and call the police. People are so ridiculous when it comes to THEIR child. If your child is doing something wrong, and I'm not saying crying warrants discipline, but they are indeed DOING SOMETHING WRONG, I think it is in turn AFFECTING THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY and therefore members of that SURROUNDING COMMUNITY are warranted to take action!

    Posted by carisa. September 3, 09 04:00 PM
  1. I want to know more about this guy, Anyone have scoop on him. What's his background?

    Posted by Bob Wilson September 3, 09 04:08 PM
  1. People need to mind their own business unless the child is clearly in danger. We don't know why the child was crying. Maybe she was sick? There could have been any number of reasons as the post states.

    I was reprimanded by two separate groups of women at Joann's yesterday because 1. my daughter was drinking from a water bottle & not a sippy cup (forgot to grab one before we left the house for errands) and 2, because she was saying hello to everybody and "she shouldn't talk to strangers". My daughter is 16 months old, was in my cart, was behaving perfectly, and believe me, when she's old enough to understand, she'll get the "don't talk to strangers" talk. It didn't occur to me until we got home that I should have been offended by those busy-bodies otherwise I would have said something to them.

    If anyone dared touch my daughter, they would see a wrath the likes of which had never been seen before.

    Posted by tracy September 3, 09 04:10 PM
  1. I don't have kids, but when I see or hear a crying child, my impulse is to try to help. One Halloween I was at the door when a huge gaggle of kids arrived for trick or treat, with not quite enough adults to manage all of them. One of the women was holding a crying baby when something happened to one of the other kids, and she just pushed the baby into my arms so that she could help the other child. We (the baby and I) were both so surprised that the baby stopped crying and then we both started smiling. I handed back a quiet baby to her mom, the trick or treaters continued on their way, and all was much better with the world.

    Sometimes it's not about discipline, but needing help. I've let harried parents with their tired kids go ahead of me in line and given them my seat on the T. I've started peek-a-boo games with toddlers to distract them from their boredom or frustration about being stuck at the grocery store check-out next to the candy. It really does take a village, which also means that anyone who would strike a two-year old across the face 4 times deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and I commend the person who held on to him until police arrived.

    Posted by Concerned Bystander September 3, 09 04:11 PM
  1. Bully, plain and simple. Wonder how many of those supportive of spanking, or of straightening out the kid or the parent, would assault an annoying person who could actually hit them back. If you can't take a child crying or annoying you in a public place, who has as much right to be there as you, you also have the choice to leave. Grow up.

    Posted by don't mess with mama September 3, 09 04:19 PM
  1. I am a Dad, and I can pretty much guarantee that the Police would be involved after I gave him a little of the same medicine! That is completely without excuse! If the child were disturbing him that much he could have talked to the parents or asked the restaurant to move his seat. What a moron!

    Posted by krOutraged September 3, 09 04:20 PM
  1. Look we have all wanted to slug some parent for their child's behavior, but in the last week I have seriously wanted to slug the child. He runs on the bus, pushing anyone that's in front of him out of the way, runs all the way to the back of the bus and then yelling, look mommy I'm here (at least 10 times), when she does it next to him he still has to call her another 10 times and ask the same question over and over again until most of us just want to walk back there and smothering both of them just to stop the noise. That being said had that man hit my child I seriously would have found the strength to pick up the shopping cart and beat him with it. He had no right to hit that 2 year old and he must have some serious problems.

    Yes single parents don’t have a choice but to bring the kids with them, but guess what they don’t have to do it after work on Friday when the place is packed with other shoppers and the kid/s are over tired from their long day. I have seen way too many children who mother decided that if she has to spend the day shopping so does her kid – you know those kids – they are hungry, over tired and almost falling asleep standing up.

    There is no excuse for what this man did, none whatsoever, but sometimes there is even less of an excuse for what some parents put they kids through for their convenience.

    Posted by really!!!! September 3, 09 04:21 PM
  1. It is never ok to physically discipline someone else’s child. I can't imagine what this crazy guy was thinking. That being said, the mother should have left the store if her kid was being obnoxious, and came back inside once she calmed down- no excuses.

    Posted by Maria September 3, 09 04:22 PM
  1. If a stranger slapped my child they would have had to restrain ME until the cops got there!! I would have totally lost it... it would not of been good!!

    Posted by Lisa September 3, 09 04:23 PM
  1. That kid must have been wailing....
    When I was a kid, any adult would smack ya if you were out of line...
    The times have changed...glad they have...
    Dude must have been having a bad day...

    (love the hypocrites who preach and then go home and beat their own babies/children behind closed doors...you know who you are...)

    Posted by Eileen September 3, 09 04:36 PM
  1. Slapping a child that age across the face isn't just cruel, it can actually cause brain damage if it is hard enough to shake her head. With 4 slaps, I would say that was probably hard enough. I think that people who hate children should stay home and shop online.

    Posted by Karen September 3, 09 04:37 PM
  1. It should be O.K. to discipline other people’s children if they are obnoxious and the parent is obnoxiously ignoring it. Why is it parents seem to think it is the greatest parenting on the planet to tune your child's screams, whines, rants, and temper tantrums out and leave the rest of us to suffer them? Why didn't the mom with the screaming child leave the store? Now THAT is a brilliant solution. Stop allowing your little “precious” broken condoms to ruin everyone else's day or send someone into a blind rage. Crying brat is about as pleasant as nails on a chalk board, especially after a long, trying day. If anything else, remember this; Wal-Mart (and all other) cashiers have to stand there and listen to hundreds of annoyances. Don't let your child be another. Be a kind, gentile human and get them out of public when they won’t stop screaming about some asinine toy they were denied. I don't care if you are in the middle of shopping. Or on a bus/train. Or in a show/movie others paid just as much to see as you did. Stop making everyone else suffer. Also, hitting a kid in the hysterics of crying to snap them back to the real world of consequences has raised many people right. Many of the ones who are the most evil never got a spanking…..hmmmmm.

    Thanks for commenting, S. I have to say, though, that you're making quite a few assumptions about the situation. That aside, there's a pretty stark difference between a spanking from a parent and getting slapped across the face 4 or 5 times by an adult you've never seen before in your life. If he had done exactly the same thing to the child's mom, it would have been considered assault and battery. But since he hit a random 2-year-old, you call it discipline? Really? -- LMA

    Posted by s September 3, 09 04:40 PM
  1. I, my husband and our two children, both teens, have black belts. We've never had to deal with a situation like this and I doubt we ever will, heh-heh!

    Posted by Heather Czerniak September 3, 09 04:50 PM
  1. While I do not condone what this man did, I can certainly understand his frustration. More than once, I have left a store with my own nerves frazzled because of a parent's unwillingness or inability to manage their children. Had the mother taken the child out of the store until she was able to calm her down or left the store and come back to finish her shopping at another time, this incident would never have occurred....

    To be honest, there have been times when witnessing an unruly child, I have thought to MYSELF, "If she doesn't do something with that kid......" But of course I would never DO it! That is where Mr, Stephens crossed the line, and he should be punished for that.

    However, some of the blame needs to rest with the mother as well for her lack of consideration, for both her child's well-being, and the other store patrons. If YOUR child is what is causing the disturbance in a public place, it is unfair to expect other people to leave.


    Posted by Yes, I am a Mom September 3, 09 05:01 PM
  1. A crying baby is nothing compared to some of the loud awful music they play in stores. Makes a person want to run out screaming.
    No one hits a baby or any other child. My goodness he could have really hurt her. How did he get away with hitting her so many times. I would have been on his back pulling his hair out or stepping in front of him it would have been me he would have hit. The minute he threatened my child I would have called 911.

    Posted by fifthcrown September 3, 09 05:10 PM
  1. I would do everything in my power if this happened to my darling child to make sure this man was confined away from the public, be it prison or a mental institution.

    If this man does have a mental illness and this is what caused his uncontrolled actions, then shouldn't we forgive? What if a person has a heart attack and falls down on your 2 yr old child and reddens her face? Would you forgive that person? If so what is the difference between having a dysfunctional heart and a dysfunctional brain?

    Posted by Kerri Hanson September 3, 09 05:13 PM
  1. He'd never see 62 is all I know...

    Posted by Knotdefined September 3, 09 05:14 PM
  1. i am a mother of 2 and if some old man would have smacked my son across the face 4 or 5 times. He would have to have a shoe stuck up his well you know the rest

    Posted by Vena September 3, 09 05:14 PM
  1. Do us all a favor: just don't have any kids. And if you have 2 or 3, stop! No matter what your church tells you, your job as a human being isn't to simply procreate. We all need to be able to live here and lead good lives. Part of that means finding your own happiness - part of that is a responsibility not to ruin it for others.

    .

    Posted by Seriously. September 3, 09 05:15 PM
  1. If he touched my kid, I would have probably beaten him to death before the cops got there. See, sometimes two wrongs do make a right

    Posted by gubba September 3, 09 05:21 PM
  1. Here is the link to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution - his bond was recently denied (thank goodness):

    http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/bond-denied-for-accused-130094.html

    Posted by Cynthia K. September 3, 09 05:23 PM
  1. His actions are inexcusable. Those of you who threaten retaliation - could you reasonably do that? What if he had a gun or knife? Also you would be arrested along with the perpetrator. I do wonder what recourse parents have when someone hits their child. I'm certain these incidents will continue to occur. I also wonder about the mother's and child's race.

    Posted by Jen September 3, 09 05:23 PM
  1. You can UNDERSTAND his frustration? If he can't handle stress, noise, or discomfort when he is out and about, well ... maybe he shouldn't be out and about. Everyone has a bad day, maybe the baby was having one. A little more understanding of the situation for the baby and mom would be better. We all have our personal space and don't want it invaded, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow, which might mean walking the other way.

    Posted by suspin September 3, 09 05:38 PM
  1. Lord almighty! Of course he was wrong to strike a child. Why are we all commenting on the obvious, and then digressing into 'spoiled brat' syndrome.

    The folks who don't manage their kids probably aren't spending much time reading comments anyhow. They're too busy being overwhelmed and self-absorbed.

    Posted by Rickety Cricket September 3, 09 05:42 PM
  1. Wait -- to the posters ranting about how awful parents and/or kids are for throwinf tantrums or crying in a store. Exactly how many assumptions are you making here? We don't know how long or loudly the baby was crying -- 2 minutes, or 10, whether it was a wail or a simple cry. We don't know what the mother was doing while the baby was crying.

    Further, do you all think 2 year olds never cry, or that they do so only when in private and away from other adults? Every time they cry, is it a tantrum, or do they sometimes have real reasons for crying -- a stubbed toe, for example?

    So with this very limited information on what's happened (and presumably understanding the age of the child)some of you want to take this situation -- an *assault and battery on a child by a stranger* -- to lecture about bad parenting and awful kids? Seriously?

    Posted by jlen September 3, 09 05:43 PM
  1. I am 64 years old and sometimes when I'm in a store and I hear a child crying and crying and crying, yes, it is annoying to me. But, stores are big places. I just put some distance between myself and the crying child and the parent who, most of the time, is doing the best she (he) can. Being a parent is a very hard job. More than likely, this mom worked all day and had to do some grocery shopping or whatever before going home and getting dinner on the table, feeding her 2 year old, going through the bath time routine, the bedtime routine, all the things that are required of parents today, plus housework, laundry, etc. What had this 61 year old unemployed man been doing all day? What did he have to do with the rest of the day, evening? He should be ashamed of himself. He should volunteer at a daycare? Do something constructive instead of beating up on a 2 year old little girl. Digusting and shameful of him.

    Posted by Eden Courtney September 3, 09 05:44 PM
  1. I will destroy anyone who hit my child. Very Simple.

    Posted by Papa Bear September 3, 09 05:53 PM
  1. Wow. Spare the rod spoil the child? Discipline is what a child needs not beatings. If you asked criminals why they are the way they are it's most likely because of abuse in their childhood. Not because they went to time out. That is laughable. I think parents who spank are just plain lazy. It's easier to be a bully and force your child to behave the way YOU want them to instead of teaching your child self control. It takes time to teach a child.

    Posted by Kim C. September 3, 09 05:56 PM
  1. Yes, suspin, I CAN understand his frustration.... We hear so much about needing a society of tolerance, and that is a good thing....HOWEVER, tolerance without consideration is never a good thing..... If the mother continued her shopping onto another aisle with her crying child, then she showed no consideration for the other shoppers, yet expected their tolerance for her child's crying..... it happens all too often.
    Granted, we may or may not be getting all the facts in the case at this point, and I am gussing NOT....but based on the facts as reported, if Ms, Matthews had shown a little more consideration, then perhaps Mr. Stephens would have displayed a little more tolerance....You cannot sucessfully have one without the other....and this whole scenario proves it!

    Posted by Yes, I am a Mom September 3, 09 05:58 PM
  1. you can thank the Clintons and their liberal friends who believe that "it takes a village to raise a kid." and thank the Obamas who think that everyone plus "big brother" should have a say in each of our lives. Unfortunately, some children are generally undisciplined, some get tired, some don't feel well and their behavior is bad, unsavory. Thus is life. In fairness, a lot of people are considerate of others and do their best to not disturb fellow citizens. Sometimes it is not possible to control small children in a civilized way and parents must complete their shopping. So we also should consider the stress they are experiencing. It works two ways. But, pleeze, let's not buy in to the "it takes a village" garbage.

    You know that Hillary Clinton did not coin the phrase "It takes a village to raise a child," right? -- LMA

    Posted by e. zante September 3, 09 06:14 PM
  1. I was at an ATM in Harvard Square depositing a check once, and there was an incredibly frazzled looking father with a baby in a carriage. The baby was wailing the wail of an infant up hopelessly past bedtime. The dad didn't look like he'd slept in days. Every time he stopped rolling the carriage back and forth to work on the checks he needed to deposit, the kid started in with that jackhammer wail. I have migraine problems. It was painful.

    So what I did is politely ask the dad if I could rock the kid for him while he finished up. I don't have kids. I don't even like kids. But plenty of relatives and friends have kids, so I am used to taking over basic rocking duty so that the parents have a moment or two to keep their lives from exploding. (and I'm really good at making funny faces).

    He decided that I was not a scary kidnapper and thanked me profusely. I took a couple of minutes to roll the carriage back and forth, quieting the baby (who was about 8 weeks old) while sleepless dad managed the huge pile of checks that had accumulated since probably before the kid was born.

    And all was quiet. Dad got his checks done and took the baby home for bed.

    Posted by Lauren P. Burka September 3, 09 06:16 PM
  1. The last time I was at Wal-Mart there was a toddler repeatedly screaming her head off with that eardrum-piercing shriek that everybody knows. The three adult women with her ignored her. I turned to the child and said "Shhhh" and then said "please don't scream". I was immediately cursed out by the women who insisted that "nobody shushes their child" and that I should stay out of Wal-mart if I couldn't stand real life. I told them that I would ask the store manager to deal with them if they insisted on causing such noise. I then walked out without making most of my intended purchases. I can't believe that any self-respecting store manager wants small children to scream bloody murder for minutes on end.

    Posted by Irene September 3, 09 06:18 PM
  1. Maybe the kid had autistic issues. But fatty 61 year old superdad wouldn't have thought of that because he was too upset at having his shopping vibe ruined.

    And yes I'd plant my thumb right into his eye.

    Posted by charlie Watson September 3, 09 06:22 PM
  1. If this man would have slapped any of my children, the police would be coming to arrest me, he would have never made it to the second slap.. And for the woman who states that she doesnt want to deal with our kids while shopping, if I am not mistaken Wal Mart is a public area, if you dont like, stay home, shop online. It's not our fault that your patience level is low, blame that on your parents for not teaching you any better..

    Posted by gi gi September 3, 09 07:24 PM
  1. a kick to the nuts would have been called for.

    Posted by RealityCheck September 3, 09 07:30 PM
  1. That man had no buisness slapping someone elses child. That being said there is a lesson in this for parents. Make sure that when you take a child to the store with you he is well rested, fed and in good temperamen. If the child has a meltdown anyway then remove them from the store until they are under control. It is not ok to subject other shoppers and store employees to their shrieking and crying. Plan you shopping trips around your childs schedule not your own. With some thought and planning anyone can make this happen.

    Posted by Angie September 3, 09 07:43 PM
  1. I would have beat the living snot out of the guy - and I would have made sure he remembered it the rest of his miserable life.

    Posted by Outraged September 3, 09 07:56 PM
  1. That man is probably also a pedifile. People are sick and 1 out of 20 men are pedifiles. Angry white trash...that is what this is about. I hope he gets prosecuted to the fullest extent. That said, I never had a meltdown at a store with my 2 year old - now 4. This is because I know when to take a child and when not to. Moms - please...children and stores - only when the child is well rested, well fed and healthy. Otherwise there is nothing you need so urgently in Walmart that you go, unless its formular, diapers or medication. If you must - give them a job to do - let them hold on to something, tell them what yopu are doing next. If I was a bystander - this guy would have had his you know what kicked in by me! forget the mom!!

    Posted by Lori September 3, 09 08:22 PM
  1. I'm surprised Al Sharpton hasn't gotten involved in this case. There is a picture on smokinggun.com that shows the police report and apparently this kid is black.

    The police report is on The Smoking Gun. The picture is of the man, but the second page of the police report does indicate that the child is black. Here's the link: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0902091slap3.html

    Posted by Alxandro September 3, 09 08:30 PM
  1. He never makes it to a judge. My G*d, if I were just a random shopper and I saw it happening, I would have planted the guy!

    Posted by Daddy September 3, 09 08:33 PM
  1. I WOULD HAVE KICKED
    HIS BALLS UP INTO HIS ASS.
    But then again i have a temper, i'm italian and from ny that is without doubt this would have been my reaction.

    Posted by ljoygalaxy@yahoo.com September 3, 09 08:35 PM
  1. I love all the tough parents. Arnold Schwarzenegger is 62. You are going to kick his a##?

    What a stupid thing for a grown man to do, "slap" a 2 y.o. that is not his. Just shut up and move on.

    And to say you would kick his a##, also stupid. You would do just what happened. Wait for the police to arrest the fool.

    Posted by JohnG September 3, 09 08:48 PM
  1. Mr. Slap-Happy was wrong, VERY WRONG! Hitting him back would not have been my first reaction and to hit him in return would put me at no better place than he is for doing that to the child. Perhaps he does have mental disorders... Fact is, that is a pretty bold move that some people might only have a fleeting thought of doing because we just know better. Surely we all know that crying is a part of the communication process for a 2-year old. I would have been outraged but I also would have been making sure my child was alright as opposed to trying to beat up the grouchy old geezer. The law will punish him.

    Posted by Mom of a 12 year old September 3, 09 08:49 PM
  1. I cant believe the comments that say its the parents fault when the children cry. I am a single mom (40yr) and I know some parents are at fault but most of the time I doubt it. I have what they call a strong willed child. She does actually get help for many issues and was a micro preemie which is the cause of this. If I am at a restaurant or Ross or somewhere just for fun and I can not calm her down I do leave. I however do not drive and when I am at a grocery store or wal mart it is probably for necessity's. I dont have the luxury of just leaving because I wont be able to get back. I do the best I can but sometimes it has nothing to do with me and she just gets mad. Now if any stranger came up and struck my child I would beat him with everything I had in me. No one has any right to every lay a finger on my kid ever. In response to one of the comments that said her mom told her that she was an angel will that was a lucky mom and all kids are different. I think if it bugged him that much wal mart is big enough he should of just moved on. I hope he has a fun time in jail.

    Posted by Mindy September 3, 09 08:50 PM
  1. I am confused as to why ANYONE thinks it is ok to hit a child in the face that is crying. Most of you are making assumptions that have no factual basis - you are making some very big jumps and then continue with "that being said...." like this is ok! I have run into plenty of people who are moody or rude - ADULTS - while shopping. Do I have the right to tell them to stay home until they behave better? Why would you think you can determine anyone else's schedule based upon what works for you?
    I have seriuus doubts that any of you are worth the time it took to write this.

    Posted by Amy G September 3, 09 08:58 PM
  1. God help the person that says to me that they plan on laying a hand on my child.

    That man wouldn't have come within five feet of me. Not only would I have removed myself and my child from the area but he would have been immediately arrested regardless of the outcome.

    Come on people, GET A GRIP!!!

    Toddlers are children with no means to control their emotions. As adults we need to protect, nurture and guide these little people. Granted maybe the parent could have handled things differently but NO ONE has the right to hit a child!

    Posted by Mary September 3, 09 09:00 PM
  1. I agree with Lee. I have 4 children. If the kids are old enough to know better, it's one thing, but a 2-year old does not know how to tell you what is wrong with them. They only have one way of letting an adult know something is wrong with them, and that is crying. I know my 2-year-old can say a few words, but those mostly include bye-bye, mama, dada, and nana. If something is wrong with him that he is crying, usually it means he may have an upset stomach, be tired, or something along those lines. You critics obviously don't have any children, or you would quit being such jerks to the mother, and so sympathetic to to the man that laid his hands on someone else's child. Grow up and we'll see what your opinion is someday when you have a child of your own. I bet your opinion will change real quick.

    Posted by I Love My Kids September 3, 09 09:18 PM
  1. Thank you for mentioning the possibility that the child might be autistic! My 8-year-old son (who has high-functioning autism) will occasionally have meltdowns in public places, usually because he is tired or frustrated, or a combination of the two. I get the most awful looks from people, who obviously are thinking what a terrible parent I must be to let such a big kid scream and roll on the floor. They have no idea what is causing him to have the fit, and they most likely don't understand the best methods for helping the child get back under control (which certainly *do not* include slapping the child!!)

    Posted by Bonnie September 3, 09 09:21 PM
  1. Wow, a lot of tough folks here....no you wouldn't do any of that stuff. People flip out all the time and you just stand there. i see it all the time. Where do all you vigilantes live, anyway??

    Posted by Mike September 3, 09 09:23 PM
  1. Great, no only does he hit a kid, the kid is black...here we go!!! and before anyone says "whats the difference"...we live in America, unfortunately, there is a difference. When anything happens to a black person, it happens to all black people. get ready for the all white people are racists - headlines

    Posted by Tom September 3, 09 09:34 PM
  1. Call the Police
    Charge the perp with Battery.
    Why put the kid thru more seeing a parent get maybe arrested, etc.

    Posted by Keith September 3, 09 09:36 PM
  1. I would of kicked his old Azz! and then some..

    Posted by John D September 3, 09 09:42 PM
  1. When I see a child crying I DO NOT assume the child "started it." I look to the so-called grown-up. I take the T everywhere (don't have wheels), and see LOTS of adults ignoring their infants and toddlers while they, the adults, yak-yak-yakety away on cell phones. When the child needs them, the adults act annoyed. // I'm stunned at the racial comments here. A child is a child. // No-one hits my child. No-one. Laws need to be revised so child abusers don't get off so lightly. I hope that man gets prison justice.

    Posted by reindeergirl September 3, 09 10:09 PM
  1. I'd break his @#%& neck!!!

    Posted by Kevin September 3, 09 10:11 PM
  1. I'm the single mom of a toddler girl (3 1/2 years old). She STILL cries sometimes at the store if she doesn't get her way. It doesn't make the parent a bad parent just because the child throws a fit. It's part of having a toddler. And sometimes you seriously just cannot leave the store if you aren't driving or whatever. I do however take my daughter aside if she's having an issue in a store and I calm her down. Whether it be taking her to the restroom or outside, I'll calm her down then continue with my shopping. You can't always just blame the parent because it's not always the parent's fault. In fact, it could be the child crying BECAUSE the parent is doing a good job of disciplining the child by DENYING them things that will spoil them, thus resulting in a tantrum.

    Anyway - if someone were to slap my child like that, for one thing I don't think they'd connect their palm to my kid's face before I ripped their arm clean from the socket - however, I'd beat the hell out of the a-hole who ever tried to lay a hand on my child. There's NEVER any excuse for touching another person's child let alone slapping them repeatedly. This whole story just absolutely disgusts me. And yes, I honestly would have retaliated. I believe in eye for an eye, and if someone ever hurts my daughter, I'll hurt them just as bad if not worse.

    Posted by Calypso September 3, 09 10:25 PM
  1. If a stranger slapped my child...I would slap the stranger right back.
    I don't put my hands on my children...I will be damned if a stranger will.

    Posted by Heather Musser September 3, 09 10:29 PM
  1. I'd slug him, and in Texas I'd have a perfect legal right to do so.

    Posted by Dora Smith September 3, 09 10:30 PM
  1. I am shocked and suprised he even got that close to slap the child and mutiple times!! I would have been all over him after the first slap. He had no right to do this black or white. However, I personally feel that while it may have been inconvenient for the mother she should have taken the child out of the store, On the other hand, the man could have left the store and completed his shopping at another time. It is unfortunate for him that he was having a really bad day! If he is sentenced, I don't know how much but enough to make him think long and hard about his actions. Some community service and anger management classes are definitely in order,

    Posted by Kathy M. September 3, 09 10:54 PM
  1. I would ahve this 61yr old booked for assualt on an innocent child. Have the adults slap him & put him away in amental asylum withno chanceof getting out

    Posted by sk September 3, 09 11:12 PM
  1. First and foremost, why is it a color thing? Its a wrong and right thing.Bad things happen in America everyday and it affects all of us.If a child is hurt, whether or not they were playing in the yard of getting slapped at Walmart, it effects all of us.It shows us what our country is coming to.Black or white,this man had no right to do that and I too would slap him a few times.Someone commented that they would wait for the police...so you'll watch your child get pimp slapped by a stranger? Yeah you're dumb. And to the people who cant stand children, to not be taken aback when I tell you that you were once a child too.And you probably annoyed adults unless you were a mime from young, saying nothing and trying to get out of your box. Please stay in it.You seem pretty selfish.

    Posted by Simone September 3, 09 11:17 PM
  1. Let's start by saying that the man who hit the child was way out of line. But let's also agree that a 2-year-old in Walmart is way over-stimulated and is looking at hundreds if things that no, she cannot have. Mom is distracted by her shopping or her cell phone (don't get me started) and the child is trying to get her attention. The fact that this man had time to hit the child several times says to me that the mom was not paying close attention. I agree with an earlier poster that it might work if the child was well-rested and well-fed, but in general, expecting a 2-year-old to sit still for long periods of time is asking her to do something she is not yet able to do.


    Posted by Posey September 3, 09 11:46 PM
  1. I'm there with carisa and selver in many respects, and NO I don't beat or spank children, nor do I have any of my own.

    I also don't think that screaming children in a store are necessarily spoiled brats 100% of the time. There's a difference between a toddler who is pitching a fit because he's not getting the toy that he saw on Aisle 5 (although he'll forget about it later anyway) and a toddler who is tired, cranky, hungry, sick, whatever.

    I remember pulling only one fit because I wanted something in a store - ONE - when I was 4 and my Mom took me outside and gave me a spanking. I'm 30 and I still remember this. Now, was I traumatized? No. I love my Mom and I respect her for what she did because she didn't take any cr*p. Did it embarass me? Yes. Did it anger some people? Probably. But did it do the job? YES! I didn't do that again.

    These days, people are all up in arms about spanking and slapping and hitting their children and that it's violence. A swat on the butt is not child abuse when that child is being ornery, disrespectful, disobedient,etc. A slap on the face if they talk back might be dated now, but it was commonplace no more than ten or fifteen years ago.

    I've been in many places where there are screaming kids.

    I was at the movies once, where a screaming girl named Jaycie (not Jaycee Dugard, although praise Jesus that she is home and safe) kept kicking my seat from behind and her mother was ignoring her (except for the occasional "Shhh, Jaycie, let mommy and Dylan watch the movie"), and the little brother (I guess he was Dylan) kept saying "Jaycie! Jaycie!" Finally I turned around and said, "Hi Jaycie, do you want to come sit with me and my niece?" (My niece Makayla was with me - she was seven at the time) Jaycie stopped crying and shook her head. "Then can you please not cry, so your mommy, your brother, and the rest of us nice people here can enjoy the movie?" Yes, maybe I was out of line to say anything, but I didn't act ugly or hit the girl, nor did I want to. I just wanted her to be quiet, just like the other sixty annoyed movie patrons there. It worked. Jaycie was probably scared that a stranger even said something to her about her crying.

    Most recently, at the dance studio where I work part-time, another little girl was going berserk and screaming. Why? Who knows, and who cares. The point was she was being disruptive to the other and their teachers and her mother wasn't doing a thing about it, and as the front desk manager it's my job to make sure every client is happy and comfortable - and an environment with a loud screaming kid is not comfortable, especially if these parents are paying big bucks for their kids' dance lessons.

    So I left my desk and smiled and got down on one knee to face the little girl.

    "Hey, why are you crying?"

    No answer, just a blank look followed by some sniffles.

    "I'm Mr. O! Do you want to come sit at the desk and draw pictures with me?" A nod. Then I looked at the mom. "Is that cool?"

    She shrugged - she seemed kind of wowed that what I did worked. Little Kaylie came and sat opposite me at the check-in desk and drew pictures with a marker for about half an hour, and one of those pictures was for me. Then Kaylie's mother enrolled her in classes! SCORE!

    Distraction is the key here, people. If they're screaming, and you really want to be adventurous (as in talking to the parent or the child), be kind about it and just try to take their minds off of it. Compliment their Dora the Explorer backpack or their Hannah Montana tee-shirt. Make a silly face or a cute voice and see if you can make them giggle. If you can't be kind, do something to take your mind off of it and leave the area. Don't get angry, or wish you could do bad things like slap a child that you don't know... because wishing it may some day lead you to what this sad man did.

    Good luck, because there's a lot of kids out there and a lot more on the way!!!

    Posted by Omar September 3, 09 11:55 PM
  1. First of all, I don't have children. And, yes, I have been terribly annoyed with children having major tantrums in public. But that doesn't mean that I or anyone else have the right to discipline another person's child physically. That man was completely in the wrong. And, if it had been my child, the article would have been titled "Woman Kills Man Who Slapped Her Child."

    Secondly, I am completely surprised by the mother's lack of reaction. Even if she were in shock, someone just grabbed your child and assaulted them. What was she doing while this was happening?

    Posted by BJT418 September 4, 09 01:50 AM
  1. i think its funny how many of you resort to threats on a forum and violence as if somehow your violence was not disgusting. that the child was hit is already well established, they're going to charge him with a felony, which is on a par with a bank robber or a child molester. I find it surprising that nobody who screams revenge or pain on him realizes the hypocrites they are... if you really were disgusted at his violence, you would decry it by using the full force of the law while insuring no further violence ensued from this! but no, instead i read about those of you who would "put him down" or "shove a foot up his a--". what kind of sick lunatics are you? VIOLENCE DOES NOT SOLVE VIOLENCE, IT ONLY INSTIGATES FURTHER VIOLENCE. anyone who denies this fact is sick and sooner or later will hurt someone for some other stupid reason. i'd hate to be anywhere near any of you gorillas! i for one abhor his stupidity, and am glad they are hitting him with a felony, but i would never wish violence on him... it corrupts my soul and teaches him nothing (even if i think it will). no, im not a bible thumping religious nut .... abhorence of violence (or the love of it) is not religiously based

    Posted by kid villa September 4, 09 02:32 AM
  1. first i am not a parent, but i am appalled at how parents today let the child run their lives. kids today are too coddled. sadly i would like to slap some of the kids i see in stores too because the parent is being neglectful in teaching the child to behave...

    Posted by sid September 4, 09 03:19 AM
  1. No one else has mentioned this, so I will: the guy lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He's 61. He's white. The child is black. This redneck jerk probably grew up with the idea that he could do anything he pleased to a black person and get away with it. Does anyone for one minute believe he'd have tried this if the child were white? Ol' Massa Roger thinks he's still on the plantation. He's probably no end surprised that he's in jail. Maybe some prison time will enlighten him as to what century he lives in, especially if he ends up in a prison with a large number of black inmates (the case with most prisons today). On the other hand, if he gets any time, he'll spend it in protective custody. No way he'd last in general population.

    Posted by L.J.Wilson September 4, 09 03:26 AM
  1. i would have that man some help because hitting a child did he really think the child will stop crying

    Posted by edna g September 4, 09 03:31 AM
  1. Kind of funny how the types of people who don't trust socialized healthcare believe in socialized discipline.

    Posted by go figure September 4, 09 03:39 AM
  1. Other than the parents themselves, no one has authority to discipline someone's else' child. I agree with the mom - he must had mental issues or is simply a bitter old man. Also, people like Jada commenting how to control the child or not taking them out with you - you obvisouly have no children and if a crying child can upset your entire day or 30 min at a store...then you need better things to focus on in your life - your clearly unhappy. Children cry...sometimes we do not know why and a parent can not always control it. This old man had no right and is lucky he was not left on the ground with 4/5 slaps to make him shut up!

    Posted by MLS September 4, 09 03:53 AM
  1. I don't sympathize with people that are being rude to other people. If you are a parent and your child is SCREAMING, I do NOT want to hear it. I am not the one breaking the sound barrier, I should not have to leave anywhere...duh. Take the child out of the situation and try to figure out what's up and calm that kid down. I don't condone Mr. Slappy Pants either...I'm thinking he's probably got his own issues to deal with...but really, get your kid out. Oh, and yeah...if I was threatened in a public place by some super creepy guy, I would tell someone..."Hey, btw...see that guy over there in aisle x...? yeah him, well, he just threaten my child so ya may want to keep an eye out..." Like, maybe the MOM should have done!!! How did the guy get close enough to the kid to even do that? This would have never happened 30 years ago. Back then that Mom would have had that kid out of the store before anyone was even aware of a screaming child...now, rude parents expect everyone else to tolerate their responsibilities. See what happens when you build too many WalMarts? Poor world.

    Posted by Muzzles September 4, 09 05:14 AM
  1. It takes a village to raise a child, sure, but it does not take an out of control stranger. Wow he was way over the line.

    Posted by Stefan September 4, 09 06:04 AM
  1. The cold hard fact is it IS the parents fault if the child is crying in public, the parent ALWAYS has the option to leave the store and not bother the other customers. I have 3 kids and have on multiple occasions left stores / restaurants / theaters rather than ruin the night out for other people. That said, the fact that this man got 5 hits in shows how badly the mother was not paying attention to her child. The fact that the old man got close enough to strike the child shows just how badly the mother was ignoring her child. No stranger got that close to my 2 year old daughter, ever.

    Posted by LeepII September 4, 09 06:45 AM
  1. I'm positive I would have lost all semblance of control and would have ended up in the cell next to him. I don't advocate violence as a form of problem resolution, HOWEVER; once the first slap hit home, it becomes defense and I would have defended my child by any means necessary.

    Posted by phe September 4, 09 07:11 AM
  1. The little brat probably deserved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by wtf021 September 4, 09 07:52 AM
  1. Anyone who touched my child would find themselves enjoying a Drano and Roundup Martini, ON ME!!!

    Posted by Kevin September 4, 09 08:05 AM
  1. Don't anger the mama bear. I'm sure even Ahhhnold knows better than that. Women fight mean when the kids are involved. I'm surprised this guy is alive at all, he should have had 20 pounds of purse colliding with his head at high velocity.

    Posted by K September 4, 09 08:06 AM
  1. So, according to the police report, the guy slaps the kid "four or five times across the face"??? Really? Why did the mother allow him to slap the kid "four or five times"? Obviously she saw him do it that many times if that's what she reported...but four or five times? Dude hit my kid *once*, and I would've immeidately snapped to attention.

    What a lazy mother.

    Posted by Paul September 4, 09 08:11 AM
  1. If the man didn't like the noise he should have left the store. Not everyone can quiet down their child, handicapped individual or elderly parents (dementia).Be greatful you only had to listen to it for a few minutes. As for him hitting the little girl, he should be charged with assult & battery. Also he should have to attend anger management classes. If he spend anytime incarcerated he should have to listen to a recording of a screaming child 24/7.

    Posted by susan campbell September 4, 09 08:14 AM
  1. The guy who slapped the child was obviously mentally deranged. That wouldn't prevent me from dope slapping him a few hundred times though and perform a two finger stooges eye poking for good measure. I see people all too often being critical over disruptive children but that is life and we have to deal with it. I am sure the freakazoid who slapped the child delt with his children the same way, if he had children. Another reason people who hate children should not be breeding.

    Posted by Jonathan Placebo September 4, 09 08:26 AM
  1. "Allow a child to have a meltdown in a store..."
    You miss the point. May you have a child one day, I hope that he or she has the inhuman self control you're expecting, because that would be great for you. In real life, children do not always act in ways that fits in your plan. It is unfortunate that you "allow" it to ruin your shopping experience. As an adult, you have more ability to mediate/suppress your feelings than a 2 year old does.
    If anyone ever assaults my child because he or she feels that they know best how to discipline my child, and is bold enough to demonstrate for me for the purposes of my parental education, that person is probably going to lose his or her life that day. Because a 61 year old man cannot withstand the absolute righteous fury that would come down on him, and there would probably not be enough officers on the scene to remove me from his face during that critical few moments when I can do the most damage.
    If other people bother you SO MUCH....don't leave your house. They have this thing called the 'internet' which allows you to buy anything you need and have it shipped to your house. Be bothered by things that bother you...if you want to be a Squidward then that's your choice. But raise a hand to my child and you forfeit your right to life.

    Posted by Grizzly September 4, 09 08:53 AM
  1. " Also, hitting a kid in the hysterics of crying to snap them back to the real world of consequences has raised many people right. Many of the ones who are the most evil never got a spanking…"

    Well, we made it to comment 25 before someone said something completely crazy. Not terrible.

    Human beings usually remember the past with rose colored glasses. This fact causes a ton of problems.

    Posted by AMM22 September 4, 09 09:01 AM
  1. I usually don't advocate physical violence but in this case, after I saw him slap my child, my Appalichian American (Redneck) side would have taken him to woodshed! Physical violence would have been the beginning and the end of this guy's WalMart shopping experience. Just after they peeled me off of what was left of him the police could have taken "it" on to jail. I, too, would know that he was mentally deranged and could forgive him later, but at the moment of knowledge that he struck MY CHILD, I would be in protect and attack mode. Period! That's what I would do.

    Posted by W September 4, 09 09:02 AM
  1. I get annoyed by adults in Walmart/Target all the time. In fact, it's usually 61 year old men! They are slow, they feel entitled to cut in line, and then they act like they are hard of hearing if you try and object. They demand the attention of the retail staff and that's part of the reason I can never find someone to help me. They write checks for items totalling less than $10. They use coupons that aren't applicable because they can't read the fine print, and then argue over a 5 cent discount they thought they could get, then decide not to buy the item as if that is going to teach the store a lesson.
    I feel like it's OK now that when they get like that, I can just slap them a few times. Why not? They're ruining everyone else's shopping experience.
    While we're at it, people who go to or work in retail stores in America and do not speak English annoy me. I'll start slapping them too. The people in the parking lot who stop and wait for my parking spot when they see me approaching my car with my carriage...that is EXTREMELY annoying. And it's usually a 60 year old. I'll smash their window and slap their face from now on.
    I'm so glad this 60 year old broke the ice!! Now I can finally release all these pent up slaps I've been carrying aorund!

    Posted by Slappy McSlapSlap September 4, 09 09:08 AM
  1. >> "you can thank the Clintons and their liberal friends who believe that "it takes a village to raise a kid." and thank the Obamas who think that everyone plus "big brother" should have a say in each of our lives."


    Sigh.. yes it was Clinton and Obama's fault. Everything that ever happens is their fault. Plus, any 61-year old white guy from Stone Mountain, GA is going to be a huge Clinton / Obama fan.

    I'm starting to realize that Glen Beck is king of the idiots..

    Posted by BOS22 September 4, 09 09:16 AM
  1. It is an instinctual biological imperative to protect one's progeny, that is the reason why our species has survived this long. Any idiot knows if you see a bear cub in the forest, you do not walk up and try to pat him or keep him as a pet, because a very large and angry momma bear is going to kick your ever-loving behind back to the big city. Everyone knows that.
    How can people, being honest with themselves, post on here that VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER? It's arrogant and ignorant for someone with no children to think that it would be possible to have a moment of philosophical introspection during the witnessing of the assault of one's child, and then decide not to intervene because pacifism is the best path through life. ARE YOU CRAZY!? My children deserve better than that. I am not some intellectual pansy who doesn't know what to do at the moment of truth. And to be honest, I don't think any of you are either. Even the people who want to portray themselves as 'better' on here, I think you would react with violence in that situation. If you wouldn't, then you are the worst parent I can think of. No matter how much peace and understanding is in a parent's heart, there is absolutely no tolerance for what happened.

    The REALLY bad person would react like this...not do anything in the store...go down to the PD to file paperwork for pressing charges...write down per's name & address...call friend with guns...pay visit. THAT's taking it to the violence level that is inappropriate. Dealing out an unarmed beating tit-for-tat at the scene of the crime is an understandable biological response and no lawyer worth his salt would lose that case for you.

    Posted by Grizzly September 4, 09 09:22 AM
  1. You don't get to slap strangers...2 or 62 years old. It is assault, plain and simple. With that in mind, this guy would have had my foot where the sun don't shine.

    Posted by Carrie September 4, 09 09:37 AM
  1. I see nothing wrong with slapping babies, or baseballs that are in the glove of Bronson Arroyo.

    Signed,
    Alex Rodriguez

    Posted by A-Rod September 4, 09 09:38 AM
  1. Enough is enough! The mother SHOULD HAVE LEFT THE STORE, not the man. He was wrong, but everyone has a breaking point. I am constantly appalled today by the bad behaviour of children everywhere. My mother would have taken me out of the store and slapped me in the car. She used to say, "Stop it or I will give you something to really cry about."
    I was also spanked as a child and I grew up OK. But I decided not to have children and avoid the constant hassle.

    Posted by Liz Pakula September 4, 09 09:39 AM
  1. If anyone slapped my child, the child would be the last human being this individual ever touched. He is extremely lucky the childs father was not there. In Ga. the dad would have pulled a gun and shot him, no questions asked.

    Posted by Pete September 4, 09 09:46 AM
  1. Some people live such sterile lives they forget many young parents are working 2+ jobs to make ends meet. Babies shop with mom tired, teething. When a baby is cutting teeth the whole world is wrong. Reading the story it sounds like the mother was intimated by this guy and froze in her tracks. If it were me, I'd grab my baby and that man would have had a Walmart buggy stuck up his posterior end or rammed in his crouch for starts. The mother did her best.

    Posted by swampangel September 4, 09 10:05 AM
  1. A couple of points:

    1) Crying is a natural way that young children relieve stress. And sometimes they have a lot of stress to relieve. Long bouts of crying do not indicate a child who is "hungry, spoiled, or has a physical or mental problem." Children are not adults and shouldn't be expected to deal with stress the way adults can. Someone's cerebral cortex doesn't fully develop until they are 21. Just because you or someone else was forced to shove their feelings at a young age doesn't make it a good practice. Tears actually contain stress hormones. Think about that the next time you hear anybody crying and you conclude that it's unnecessary.

    2) What's with the sanctity of shopping at Walmart? Sure, I can understand being particularly distressed if the noise of a child crying is ruining a wonderful meal, a movie, or breaking your concentration. But for goodness sake, *they were at Walmart*! No one was trying to meditate, eat filet mignon, or pass the state Bar exam! Heck, I can't stand people having disembodied conversations in public places at the other end of a cell phone. So, does that mean I get to slap them?

    3) Children are not your property. About 99% of the people on here saying they would kick the guy back into next week sound like they're offended the mother's role was threatened or that her rights were infringed upon. He should have been stopped, yes, but stopped because he was interrupting a normal way that children relieve stress and causing the child trauma. The mother's rights or territory is entirely secondary.

    Posted by Tom September 4, 09 10:06 AM
  1. #99 - This is a good example of why I don't hit my kids. I don't want them to grow up and feel that children are a hassle. That's what your mother slapping you has done to you. Her behavior towards you has resulted in feelings of guilt for having been such, and that translates into you passing on the greatest experience a female can be a part of. I feel sorry for the abuse you took but the basic fact remains that your attitude towards kids does not make for a healthy society.
    Children are a blessing and it's totally worth it in the long run. When I am at the end of my life, at least I can be at peace knowing that my worldview/philosophy will live on in my offspring. Even though I will be gone from the Earth, I still have the potential to affect it positively through their actions. Sure it's a lot of work. But the alternative is that I live my life selfishly, for no purpose but my own enjoyment, and when I pass on no one cares or notices. I personally need a purpose, and that is what my kids give to me.
    Lots of things in the store are annoying, and you can't expect everyone who someone else finds annoying to leave the store. You seem like the kind of person who would be oh so offended if a manager came up to you and asked you to leave the store because your perfume was objectionable to another shopper. Or because you have a skin condition that another shopper finds disgusting. I don't see how people can have tolerance for these things that are beyond control, but think that a crying baby is somehow different.

    Posted by Grizzly September 4, 09 10:12 AM
  1. First I would stop him. Then I would take lots and lots of pictures of him and call the police. Assault is assault.

    Yes, parents should teach their children how to behave in a store. But many don't, and even among those that do, their kids get tired. Their blood sugar crashes, they missed a nap, they throw a tantrum. That's just what kids are like. People should carry earplugs anyway - any Red Line rider will know what I mean.

    Posted by Columbine September 4, 09 10:25 AM
  1. To be honest, I would have had a very difficult time not killing the jerk on the spot. I might have gone ballistic, judging from the few times that I have been personally physically attacked. You don't endanger my kids and get a calm response.

    That said, since the bystander restrained him, I would not stop with criminal prosecution alone - I'd file a civil lawsuit against him as well. See how nice his retirement goes when he has to work in a WalMart to make ends meet because his savings and pension are garnished to pay the judgement and hear whining and crying kids 40 hours a week!

    I wonder how many kids this guy has had contact with in his time, and how many bar fights he's been in. Sounds like a real experienced loser to me! If he had patted the kid on the shoulder, all the slap happy twits would have been shouting PERVERT. Slapping is okay?

    Posted by Infoferret September 4, 09 10:34 AM
  1. Old people and children shouldn't be within arm's length proximity of each other as they are both unpredictable (read with heavy sarcasm). Crying baby, crazy old man...sounds about right for a day at Walmart.

    Posted by a day at walmart September 4, 09 10:35 AM
  1. Call the police. Thank God someone did.... Just because a 2 year old cant' hit you back, it is no excuse for hitting the child. Would he hit an adult if the adult annoyed him in some other way? No, because the adult would hit him back. There is NO excuse for this - absolutely none. Two year olds cry when they are distressed, or are having a tantrum or whatever... such is life. they are not adults, and they can't reason like adults (nor are they expected to). He should have left the area if it bothered him that much. I fear for what his children might have gone through! very sad.... this intolerance. I get annoyed with badly behaved kids in public too... but taking this kind of action is unacceptable. In every sense of the word. A 2 year old is too young...

    Posted by chins September 4, 09 10:43 AM
  1. I would have snapped his freakin' neck...dead.

    Posted by geoff September 4, 09 11:01 AM
  1. Looks like a racist, acts like a racist, he must be a racist. Are we stating that any elderly white man who feels that he has a right to put his hands on a person's black toddler does not a racially motivated intentions to inflict harm and hatred upon society. Spare me that analysis. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, ITS A DUCK.

    Posted by Ridiculous September 4, 09 11:08 AM
  1. Let me say that I don't have kids, and frankly kind of can't stand them at all. I think we're overpopulated and my beliefs don't fit the mold of college - job - marriage - house - kids - dog in the yard. I find that stifling to a painstaking degree.

    But... I can relate with a parent's natural instinct to protect their young. In my case, my younger sister has Down's Syndrome and was always prone to loud and dramatic fits in public. I was and still am extremely protective of her and am her biggest defender. During the summers when we were all home from school I used to give my parents a break and take her out to stores or the park or what not.

    I remember when i was in my late teens she had a fit in a K-mart and was bumping into people in the checkout screaming. One guy got so fed up the he pushed her and said stop running into me! She can't help it and doesn't know better. I had a moment that I'm guessing parents also have when they sense their child was in danger, it was like a fight-or-flight animal instinct of protection. I lunged at the man and nearly twisted his arm off, it must have been a natural adrenalyn instinct because my heart raced and i turned flush red. And I'm a guy who has never even gotten into a fistfight in my life. People around me had to pull me off of him. He just ended up calling me a kook, gave me the finger, and got out of the store.

    Funny thing is she stopped crying :)

    Posted by eric September 4, 09 11:11 AM
  1. #96 Good point. You are wise, very wise. I didn't realize that this article is really about how Obama and Clinton ruined the world until you pointed it out. Thanks for being "that" guy.

    Posted by mynamsbrandon September 4, 09 11:17 AM
  1. Unfortunately, I feel this wouldn't have happened at all had this young girl been with her father. The man took advantage of the girl and the mom. Had me and my 225 pounds of thunder been there, this guy would have done nothing more than give dirty looks. I am going to talk to my wife tonight and suggest that if she thinks someone may harm our little 8-month old, she needs to stand up strong and tough and defend themselves.

    Posted by boogersnot September 4, 09 11:27 AM
  1. This story makes me sick. And I don't believe a single one of the reader comments that claim good parenting can prevent a child from ever crying in a store. It's part of childhood to occasionally cry, and part of adulthood to occasionally deal with crying children. But the bottom line is that an attack on a defenseless 2-year-old by a 61-year-old creep is NEVER warranted or acceptable. It's abuse, plain and simple. I can't imagine how traumatizing this must have been for the poor mother. And I can't believe that an adult behaved this way, or that other adults are coming to his defense. We should be a far more civilized society than this.

    Posted by BostonBlonde September 4, 09 11:31 AM
  1. You know - for those of you who complain about kids "ruining your shopping experience" - too freaking bad! Kids are people too and they have every right to be in a grocery or clothes store with their parents. Yes, sometimes children get whiny and only consider their OWN wants and needs and don't understand why everybody just can't conform to their whims.

    Most grow out of that stage. Others never do and then as over-entitled adults, they write comments about their shopping experience being ruined.

    If you really don't like seeing children (or old people for that matter) while you're food shopping, I have a suggestion: PeaPod.


    Posted by Knotdefined September 4, 09 11:34 AM
  1. It doesn't matter why the kid was crying, whether the kid is autistic or tired or just cranky, how long or how loud the kid was crying, or whether or not the mother was dealing with the crying kid.

    And it doesn't matter whether the guy is in his 60's or 20's, whether he's a war hero or a Klan member or just having a bad day.

    The only thing that matters is that this guy hit somebody else's kid. Even if you believe in corporal punishment, you're probably not on board with the idea of somebody besides you administering it. If it were my kid, I don't care if the guy is a body builder, I'm finding a way to take him down.

    Posted by Paul September 4, 09 11:34 AM
  1. JADA, you make it obvious that you have no children. It is sad that people like you exist in this world- it is also disturbing to me how you make this scenario all about you. you must lead a very lonely life.

    Posted by Allison September 4, 09 11:36 AM
  1. I am reading some of these comments, and I'm just flabbergasted. I really can't believe people are condoning a random stranger slapping a child in the face. Or making asinine assumptions (i.e. "if you have 2 or 3 [children], stop!" –from Seriously.).

    We don't know all the details - the child could've been hurting, or hungry, or God knows what else! At 2 years old, most children's vocabulary is still building, and they cry to communicate a host of different things.

    In response to Jada: While I do agree with taking your child outside if they are causing too much of a fuss (mine is 4, and I take her outside for a "time out" if she's throwing a fit - she usually calms down by the time we get to the car), I do not agree with having to only shop at certain times. My life is just as busy (in all likelihood MORE busy) than anyone else’s. I shop when I have the time to do it. Being a single parent doesn’t always afford me the luxury of getting a babysitter or waiting until she’s had her nap.

    And in response to Carisa: I totally agree with you on that… if the child is doing something inherently wrong (like breaking into someone’s house or car… stealing… whatever), by all means: put a stop to it and call the police. But a two year old crying in the store is hardly a police-worthy offense. A 61-year-old man who should know better slapping a crying 2-year-old who doesn't know better “four or five times”, IS.

    Concerned Bystander: Thank you. I wholeheartedly agree that sometimes help is what is needed. Not harsh, uninformed judgments. Being a parent is hard work (though, ultimately - totally worth it), and occasionally we all get overwhelmed: parents & children, both. While I might be a tad uncomfortable at a total stranger holding my kid (which was great of you not to say something to the mother who thrust the baby in your arms), I’d love it if someone distracted her with peek-a-boo when she’s bored. Shopping with mommy isn’t always fun. :)

    I don’t know why the mother allowed her child to be slapped at all, much less four or five different times, but if ANYONE touches my child that I haven’t given explicit permission to, they will suffer my wrath. And they better pray to God that they have GREAT medical coverage. It is NOT your place to discipline anyone else’s child.

    Posted by Catharine September 4, 09 11:37 AM
  1. It's a fact...children cry. They scream, they tantrum, they yell. It's all part of the growing process. (how we discipline and teach them determines the path of the growth)

    That being said, Mr. slap happy probably wouldn't have had the chance to get close to my daughter. The minute he threatened, he would have been begging for someone to put an end to the horrible pain and suffering I was laying on his candy bottom.

    Posted by g September 4, 09 11:43 AM
  1. Assuming that I was accompanied by my wife...The second he threatened our daughter, I would have asked my wife to go check out something in a different section of the store while the nice man and I had a heart to fist chat.

    Posted by g September 4, 09 11:45 AM
  1. you can't win.

    when I took my having-a-meltdown 3 year old out of a store (she was screaming bloody murder) and back to the car (I just abandoned my cart and left the store to deal with the problem), here's what happened to me.

    some effin' busy body decided I was 'abusing my child', took my license plate and called local police. if it was not for a good neighbor who was a cop in my town quashing the inquiry, I probably would have been referred to DSS.

    you can't win. being a parent is a thankless job that is 'highly valued' by our society, but it's only lip service.

    Posted by oldmoldymom September 4, 09 11:50 AM
  1. I would crack this old man's f'n skull against the pavement. If someone ever laid hand on my child it would take an pack of wild horses to pull me off the rage filled beating I would impose.

    Posted by ThisManInJail September 4, 09 12:00 PM
  1. Some kids do need a slap. But from a parent. I was in a grocery store over this summer, and some women had her two sons with her. I am guessing they were both somewhere in the 8 to 11 year old range.

    So, at the checkout line this little brat was actually stepping into the cashiers area behind the register and trying to punch numbers. The cashier was just some teenage kid, and he didn't know what to do.

    I wanted to slap this kid, but I would never EVER do something like that. However, I did tell the kid "hey buddy, be careful if the police catch you doing that, they will arrest for trying to steal the money". I said in a very friendly way (like I was looking out for him).

    The kid looked scared as heck and went back to his mother and kept still and quiet. The mother thanked me.

    However, if someone ever laid a hand on my child, I would do everything I can to beat the living daylights out of them.

    Posted by LockUpThatJerk September 4, 09 12:06 PM
  1. I'd b*tch slap him!

    Posted by Rick Snooker September 4, 09 12:11 PM
  1. I don't think ANYONE has the right to slap ANY child, EVER. However, parents with screaming children should make their purchase immediately and promptly leave the store. I don't care if that is inconvenient for them. It is inconvenient for others to have to listen. Maybe they should have considered the challenges of parenthood prior to reproducing.

    Posted by Jenn September 4, 09 12:19 PM
  1. Assault of any kind is unconscionable. Only a seriously deranged person could assault a child. I am shocked at the casual attitude of many who have posted their comments here. The best behaved toddlers have their moments.

    If one is annoyed or irked by a child's behavior, it is time to move away from the scene. Assaulting the parent or child is a crime. Roger Stephens should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Let's sent out a message: Don't hit children --- ever!

    Posted by Michael Goldfield September 4, 09 12:26 PM
  1. We've got two kids, and we both work full time and then some. A couple weeks ago my 2 year old had a complete melt down in a drug store in NH. I had to bring her outside to calm down, and then we went back in, purchased what we came for, and left ASAP, as another tantrum was about to start.
    I know little kids screaming/crying in a store are annoying...I used to be one of those annoyed people a few years ago who wondered why anyone would bring a screaming/crying kid into a store....but now I know.
    My husband was sick, feeling completely miserable, and needed a prescription filled. The baby was sleeping, but I had to take the 2yr old, as she was just too much for my husband.
    It was a really rough morning, but you do what you have to. If anyone tried to hit my child with the delusional thought that somehow it would quiet her down, they're crazy!
    I found out a daycare provider slapped my daughter on the hand once, when she was about 1.....she only screamed louder. Needless to say, we no longer use that daycare provider.


    People seem to be so much more intolerant and stressed out compared to when I was growing up... my parents struggled to feed/educate us and keep a roof over our heads, and they would never act like that with someone else's child.

    Posted by m September 4, 09 12:40 PM
  1. I can remember being in Wal-mart once, trying to de-stress by doing some stolling down the aisles. When, all of a sudden, a girl (who was about 12) went SCREAMING up and down the aisles, looking for her mother. I merely turned to her and said "must you scream like that"? Of course, she looked at me like I had two heads, but the screaming stopped.

    When confronted by screaming/crying children, I always try to find some humor in the situation. Like, playing peek-a-boo with the child, or speaking directly to the child and asking what's wrong (always with a smile)? I think it lets the mother know that the child is having a difficult time, but it does not put her on the defensive. (I've also gotten some great baby laughs and smiles when I've done this!) There's no use in getting all worked up about it and trying to take matters into your own hands (pun intended).

    Also, sometimes when the child can't be quieted down, I say a silent prayer and thank my lucky stars that I don't have to deal with that 24/7/365.

    Posted by nancestef September 4, 09 12:41 PM
  1. "How Dare You" up top said it best with "Now on the other hand, the 61yr old would have just had the chance to raise his hand before he realized that it was broken".

    I would have taken it many steps further and I think that the 61 year old would be leaving Walmart in a body bag.

    This man clearly has never raised children and probably is pretty miserable still about his own childhood. If he did raise any kids I'd be curious to see how they ended up?! Miserable old man!

    Posted by Kid lover/hater of evil doers September 4, 09 12:45 PM
  1. What happened to "It takes a village?"

    Posted by allriledup September 4, 09 12:50 PM
  1. I really, truly, honestly hope that mother had the wherewithall to take her baby for a full neurological work up. I am really concerned for the potential brain or brain stem damage that might not be obvious now but can slowly set in because of that kind of abuse.

    Posted by merilisa September 4, 09 12:51 PM
  1. I would simply give him a 'fire and forget" bullet!

    Posted by unbelievable September 4, 09 01:25 PM
  1. As the mother of an autistic child, I truly appreciate your mention of autism as one of the reasons a child can break down in public.

    Earlier this year I did a guest post on the NY Times blog Motherlode about grocery shopping with my son. It may help readers understand what goes on behind the scenes and pause before passing judgment.

    http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/05/dont-judge-a-mother-until-you-know-the-whole-story/

    Posted by MPJ September 4, 09 01:31 PM
  1. Hey Jenn - Why don't you let all of us parents know where and when you will be at every point in your day? That way we can all get on board with you being the center of the universe, and can schedule our days accordingly so we never have to bother you. God forbid you should have to listen to a loud noise for 5 minutes. I know, that can really ruin your cell phone conversation that you're trying to have in the middle of the store.
    You, madame, are the crybaby. WAAA, a loud noise bothered me! Everyone else should be quiet when I am around so I can be the center of attention in the store!

    Posted by WhatWouldYOURmomSay? September 4, 09 01:37 PM
  1. I would come to the defense of my child.....the clown would never touch another kid ever again.

    Posted by Dump Mumbles September 4, 09 01:56 PM
  1. I didn't read all the comments here...but my thoughts are a bit more basic. Never should an adult male lay hands on a woman or child period.

    Play all the scenarios you want, it's never acceptable.

    I don't know the penalty's for this crime, but a nice hefty donation to local youth center or a home for abused children sounds good.

    Posted by marc September 4, 09 02:03 PM
  1. Ok - I'm not really getting all of the "if someone slapped my child I would beat the living ---- out of him" type of comments. It's not right for someone to hit your kid (which I agree) so to prove that point I will hit (no wait not hit, beat) someone else. I agree with Jayne (post #4):

    "..Reminds me of my neighbor who when he hit my 2 year old with a shovel his grandmother came over and hit him about 10 times saying over and over "we do not hit, we do not hit". I wonder where he learned to hit my child? "

    I was witness to something similar. A friends 2 year old hit my cousin's 2 year old. The friend's reaction? She slapped her 2 year old 3 or 4 times while yelling at her "we don't hit".

    Yes, I would also *want* to hit someone who hit my kid and if my child was seriously being beaten of course I would do whatever was physically neccessary to protect my child. But, if it was just a slap, I would call the police rather than repeat the bad behavior in front of my kid. I hope people are exagerating to make a point.

    Posted by CC September 4, 09 02:15 PM
  1. Hit my child, and you will regret it for the rest of your miserable life.

    Hugs,

    AD

    Posted by Arlington Dad September 4, 09 02:22 PM
  1. So, some of you believe that a little slap here or there is ok? When that slap becomes a bit numb, then what? A belt? A wooden spoon? A willow branch? A closed fist? Verbal put downs like "I should have abborted you"?

    So, spare the rod and spoil the child huh? The best thing about me (not the biggest guy in the world, but not the smallest) being able to beat the crap out of several large men at once as well as being able to stand up to a good beating as well and hardly feeling it, is having no remorse for smacking the crap out of a woman. After all, it was a parrent who taught me that hitting is ok as long as you don't agree with someones behavior and that hitting someone weaker than you gets a result. Thanks mom and grandma for teaching me how to hit and how to take a hit. Now I can pass this on to my children. Perhaps my child can teach your child how to take a beating as well.

    Posted by Worthless, Stupid, Etc. Etc. September 4, 09 02:28 PM
  1. I agree CC, beating someone after they hit your child? Glad that many of you parents would be wonderful examples for your children. I understand the reaction/exaggeration but I think it would be more important to call the police and have them reprimand this man. Then you do not have to worry, but he does... about dropping the soap!

    I also agree with what many of you have said about crying children in general. Yes it is obnoxious, yes it is a part of life, and from time to time we must deal with it. Mothers should be more intune with their children and care for them, bring them outside or away until they have calmed, but on the other hand [as it has been said] there is sometimes no way out and so everyone else must learn to take a breath.

    It is a give and take, society today has forgotten this and only wants to take what is "yours", its all about me me me right?

    Posted by Kimarch September 4, 09 02:43 PM
  1. CC- You're interested in the message being sent to the child? This kid just got slapped by a total stranger. So if I do nothing, and let the police handle it...probably when the police handle it, the child will not be there witnessing it. All the child ever sees is some a-hole hitting her, and her mom or dad doing nothing. What lesson do you think it teaches a 2 year old who has no preconceptions about the world? It teaches, "it is ok to discipline someone elses child", "it is ok to discipline any child by assaulting them", and "when someone aggressive attempts to dominate you socially, you should be a sheep and let him have his way with you." The bottom line is, he is demonstrating extremely antosocial behavior to a child in their developing stages. The mental harm inflicted here exceeds the physical harm of the slaps. I would not feel ashamed for my daughter to see me do what I need to do to defend her, regardless of the consequences. What she would be seeing is a deviant member of society being taught a lesson by a representative of the mainstream. This is how society corrects wild behavior sometimes. It's natural, even though technically illegal as you say. To me, morals>=laws
    Also you are discounting the effects of instant instinctual response. You assume you would have the ability to pause and think rationally before acting. This is one of those few situations where a human being WILL snap, that is why it is inadvisable to assault a human being's child. Kind of like, if you step out into busy traffic, you WILL get run over. Sure you can say its the driver's fault, but you ought to know better.

    Posted by Grizzly September 4, 09 02:44 PM
  1. What is wrong with people nowadays. I am a mother of a 1 1/2 yr old and I would put the person in the hospital if they ever touched my child. What is wrong with you people on here saying the a parent should leave the child(ren) home, find a baby sitter, not shop after work on a Friday, etc. Are you serious??? A child has EVERY right to be in a store, just like you do. It truly sickens me when I think of what this world is coming to! You dont know what was going on with this child. She could have been hungry, sick, tired, wanted a toy, etc. But who the hell are you to put your hands on someones else's child? If you dont like kids stay the hell home! Are we going to start banning children from stores now??? It is ridiculous!! I cant stand people who think the world evolves around them! Grow up!

    Posted by Mom2J September 4, 09 02:48 PM
  1. at least a child's excuse is that they are a child. and yes at time kids can cry.

    BUT what about all the annoying adults that i see shopping? if they annoy me can i tell them to just stay home and shop online or smack them across the face???

    Posted by kiki September 4, 09 03:04 PM
  1. Grizzly - I get where you are coming from, I can appreciate that and I am not saying that I would do nothing but stand there calmly as I call the police, of course not. I'm sure I would be screaming as loud as possible at this man, but I still wouldn’t hit him. Maybe my perspective also comes from being a woman, as in I wouldn't hit a man with the fear that he would hit me back and there's not much I can do. But, it also comes from the perspective that I was taught not to hit and that if your child (as in a 2 year old who is not old enough to full reasoning power) sees you hit someone it gives them the message that hitting is ok, similar to the friend who was disciplining her child by hitting her. She’s saying “don’t hit” as she’s hitting her, it sends a mixed message. We're talking about a 2 year old, more than likely this child isn't even going to remember this incident, but (maybe) will remember the message that was sent. The message that I would like to send to my kid is "Hitting is harmful and I will protect you from harm". Like I said, if my child's welfare was in danger and this was more than just a slap then that would be a different situation. I am sure the 2 year old did not fully grasp that what the stranger did was wrong or why and beating him up in front of the child isn’t going to get the message across.

    Posted by CC September 4, 09 03:19 PM
  1. I'm affraid he would be half dead by the time the police got to him from the vicious beating I would have given him. Of course I would have to leave before the police arrived or I myself would have been arrested, I guess I wouldn't mind so much as long as they put us in the same cell for a while.

    Posted by Bob Stutzman September 4, 09 03:53 PM
  1. To let your child know you are angry with them is enough. Parents should discipline, but in a manner as to not encourage other worse behavioral problems such as hitting. I am a biologist and I know it is just a child's innate behavior to throw tantrums, and it could have been a justified reason. My daughter is three and has Chiari malformation type 1. It is a malformation in her cerebellum, and causes acute migraines and they can occur at any time. Point being she screams, but it is justifiable. Unless you settle the child down you can't know the reason. If a man threatened to hit my child believe me he would have never had the chance to land the first one. Parents that hit are lazy and poorly educated if you ask me. I don't mean an occasional spanking but to consider slapping a two year old in the face multiple times is insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by M Williams September 4, 09 03:53 PM
  1. JADA, you may have behaved like an angel for your mother back in the day, but you apparently became a self-centered spoiled adult brat. Do us all a favor and don't attempt to procreate. The last thing the world needs is more people thinking everything revolves around them.

    When my child has a meltdown in WalMart, I do remove her from the store for the sake of everyone, including myself. Childre don't cry just because they're spoiled. As mentioned in the article, it could be a multitude of things.

    Also, when you hit a child, you are not instilling respect in them, you are instilling fear. Some of you who think that smacking your kid make them respect you must be swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool. You should stop having children, as well. Hitting a child is taking the easy way out of effectively disciplining them.

    Posted by JB September 4, 09 04:15 PM
  1. This is why I will never go into a Mall-Wart. It's full of trashy people. And by the way, Grizzly, I did not miss out on "the greatest experience of a woman's life". There are too many people in the world now as it is. And I DO NOT feel guilty about not having spawned. I have a foster son (he's 39 now) in Russia.

    Posted by Liz Pakula September 4, 09 04:16 PM
  1. Hey Jada, and others of her ilk:

    If I don't like something you're doing, do I get to slap you five times in the face? Sweet!

    Posted by Kate September 4, 09 05:08 PM
  1. Sure, the child could be anything under the sun, but if we're going to have so much compassion for the lazy parent, why not some for the slapper - maybe he had a bad day, maybe he got fired, maybe he has no health insurance... blah blah blah.

    There's three pieces to this - no, no one should be slapping other peoples children; yes, many parents don't pay much attention to their kids and how they are affecting the environment they are in; three, sometimes screaming kids are just really friggin annoying, whether you're a parent or not... So before we make the parent and child out to be saints and martyrs, just relax and get over it. We live in an every increasing hyper-sensitive world. Slapping the kid is too much, but so is reacting like this child's life, safety, and health have been forever compromised, give me a break...

    Posted by Slap the dude back... September 4, 09 05:26 PM
  1. The man had no right to slap that child. No one should ever slap a child in the face. I do think the man was right in telling the mother quiet her child. The mother is the one that should have got some sense slapped into her. I just hate it when parents let their children scream and cry. The child could have been sleepy and all it may have needed was a soft mothers touch. Mothers now days have children when they are only children themselves. No the man had no right! BUT sometimes i feel the same way he did!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by splawn September 4, 09 05:49 PM
  1. The man had no right to slap that child. No one should ever slap a child in the face. I do think the man was right in telling the mother quiet her child. The mother is the one that should have got some sense slapped into her. I just hate it when parents let their children scream and cry. The child could have been sleepy and all it may have needed was a soft mothers touch. Mothers now days have children when they are only children themselves. No the man had no right! BUT sometimes i feel the same way he did!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by splawn September 4, 09 05:50 PM
  1. The man had no right to slap that child. No one should ever slap a child in the face. I do think the man was right in telling the mother quiet her child. The mother is the one that should have got some sense slapped into her. I just hate it when parents let their children scream and cry. The child could have been sleepy and all it may have needed was a soft mothers touch. Mothers now days have children when they are only children themselves. No the man had no right! BUT sometimes i feel the same way he did!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by splawn September 4, 09 05:53 PM
  1. This could not have been a sista, if he would have said anything to me or my child all holy hell would have broke lose in walmart...and the title would read a little bit differently, 61 year old man tried to slap 2 year old toddler and was choked out in the middle of isle 15 in wal-mart, by crazy ass black woman.
    How dare he put his hand on someone child.....I would have said something just because the poor child needed someone to defend her, and then I would have cused the parent for not having a backbone and standing up this individual.

    Posted by My Name is Tina September 4, 09 05:55 PM
  1. For those of you harping on how the baby deserved it. Have you seen a two year old? We are talking two here. You should search the net for two years olds get a look at size and read up on child development. Then the height and weight of the man who slapped a two year old. Size comparison, age comparision. developmental comparision. Lets leave the crying out all together. You can not possibly think this was a fair fight. Dont confuse this with discipline which comes from someone who knows if its appropriate and is loving and caring for a child. This was an attack by a stranger who has issues with noise who actively followed the mother and child to another aisle. For all your talk and your horror stories about being locked in elevators for hours with out of control children (most are lies). There is no justification for slapping a baby across the face.
    However there is every justification for a parent losing it and going on the full defensive.

    Posted by Barriah September 4, 09 06:01 PM
  1. This would have never happened if the "mother" had any common decency.

    When my kids started acting up I would take them to the car (or home) until they calmed down. I was always concerned about the other people in the store or restaurant.

    But, today, all too many mothers (it's always mothers) allow their children to scream bloody murder and simply have no concern over anyone else in the store, restaurant, movie theatre, etc.

    It's sheer selfishness and horrendous manners to impose your screaming brat on everyone else. It's just another sign of how much our society and parenthood has deteriorated.

    Posted by BobinVA September 4, 09 06:04 PM
  1. Several years ago, when my daughters were quite young, we were stuck in a plane on the runway in Newark for several hours, due to thunderstorms in the area. My girls started having meltdowns (hungry, tired, hot, wanted to get out of their seats, etc.). The man sitting behind us began loudly complaining about how annoying my children were, and how I should be keeping them under control. After seething for awhile (I too was hungry, tired, hot, etc.), I turned around, and said how lovely it must have been for his parents that he was apparently born fully grown. He shut up.

    Posted by Charlestown mom September 4, 09 06:15 PM
  1. whats up with the double standard between beating children and women..? an assault is an assault

    Posted by daveh September 4, 09 06:17 PM
  1. You mean a dead stranger!

    Posted by David September 4, 09 06:22 PM
  1. I think I would have been charged for attempted murder if anyone tried to lay a finger on any of my children like that. I would have almost choked him to death unless security could get me off him. He deserves a serious beating down.

    Posted by Rob September 4, 09 06:40 PM
  1. A stretcher? H'd be on his way to the morgue if he even flicked a finger at my child. Lord have mercy, there would be nothing left to him. Mental issues or not, and I am a forgiving person, but not when it comes to my children or my dogs.

    Posted by Doug's Mom September 4, 09 06:43 PM
  1. i would get security and the store superviser, if it happened to my child it would happen to others children, then i would file charges with the police

    Posted by Glenn Harris September 4, 09 06:52 PM
  1. I hope the Mom at least slapped him back, if not punched him solidly, then kicked him in the nuts for good measure.
    He's lucky it wasn't my kid.

    Posted by MJT September 4, 09 07:27 PM
  1. If someone had slapped one of my kids ~ lets say the next person he would see is ER DOCTOR........no joking FOLKS - U keep your hands to your self - slapped FOUR or FIVE times MY GOD WHAT was Mom doing - ? Should have taken ANYTHING she had AND hit him with it - PERIOD . OH HELL - I know ~ ALL
    YOU ' BLEEDIN HEARTS OUT THERE" would have went up and hugged him....
    JUST U try and hit one of my grandsons/daughters or great grand
    kids and SEE what happens to YOU........E ~ NOUGH SAID

    Posted by PRichard September 4, 09 08:54 PM
  1. first of all I would say that this is not a case of children stealing and breaking into someones house this is a two year old innocent child who screamed louder afet being slapped read the article and if teachers are not allowed to hit children why would a stranger be allowed to? Second of all hitting is something we teach children not to do and someone who is 61 one is doing it? third it is always against the law to assault another human being even if you hit there purse if it is on purpose it is against the law. Fourth people this is walmart who do you think shops at walmart? Moms with babies that is who, this is not nordstroms or a five star restaurant.Walmart caters to families if You don't like shop somewhere else. For that matter any restaurant or store that caters to families and children if you eat there or shop there that it just too bad for you. If you are eating at mcdonalds and want some peace and quite eat in your car.

    We also don't know how long the child was crying for or what the circumstances are. Think about it people. If my child is crying and I am trying to console her are you going to slap her? If she is crying for a few seconds, minutes? If I am trying to leave the store? If she is teething, sick or just not feeling good? Maybe I am picking up a prescription for a very sick child who can not be left in the car. You don't know the circumstances so how about some compassion or empathy for the parents and kids that would go a lot further and make the world a better place.

    Lastly if that guy had even threatened my child I would have broken his arm and called the cops. Someone like that is probably a child abuser or wife beater or even an animal beater. That is NOT normal behavior.

    Posted by mainermom September 4, 09 09:22 PM
  1. If you think that people should not have kids so you can go to a store and feel comfortable, you are NUTS! Hire a personal shopper, go to a desert island, rainforest, or hide under your bed... whatever it takes so the other people don't have to force themselves to share the same space as you.
    You know who you are!!!

    Posted by HappyMom September 4, 09 09:31 PM
  1. Yup, I would have put that old man down on the floor and he wouldn't have gotten up. You can't just walk around hitting adults, so you certainly can't walk around hitting kids. A 2 year old is defenseless, a baby. If this guy thinks he hit someone else's kid in front of the parent, what does he do when no one is looking? If he's so unstable that he can't control himself, he shouldn't be let loose in society. If the kid bothers you that much, leave the store, complain to management, whatever.

    That being said, since I have the LUXURY of having my husband watch my son, I haven't found myself stuck in a situation where I can't walk out of a store if my child is unhappy - and I am thankful for that LUXURY. But not everyone has that LUXURY. What if this child was sick and the mother was at the store trying to find some sort of medicine to make the kid feel better, frantically reading the fine print of all the medicine labels, unable to call a doctor for help because she didn't have health insurance? There's a lot we don't know about this story, but the background story doesn't matter. Assault is assault. My baby can't defend himself, so I will do it for him. I was actually dismayed to read that all she did was scream, but maybe the shock of it was too much.

    Posted by Karen September 4, 09 10:54 PM

  1. I WOULDN'T HAVE TIME 2 CALL THE PO-PO BECAUSE I WOULD BE ON HIS ASS AND THAT'S REAL TALK!!!

    Posted by sum serious September 4, 09 11:03 PM
  1. ASS GRASS...RING A BELL?

    Posted by BOSS LADY September 4, 09 11:15 PM
  1. The fact that this old geeze was able to get 4 or 5 slaps in before he was restrained makes me think maybe mom wasn't paying attention. Freaky old dudes don't get within 10 feet of my kid without me being all over their wrinkly asses. This fossil would have been lucky to get one slap in before I ran my shopping cart into his groin.

    Posted by Tenfootradius September 4, 09 11:32 PM
  1. If that guy it one of my kids I would kill him. It would be the last act of his life. I would literally end his life.

    Posted by Jay September 4, 09 11:55 PM
  1. So the old dude was from Stone Mountain, Georgia, the home of the Klu Klux Klan. That ought to give you a clue as to why he behaved as he did. Wish I was there to administer some Northern Hospitality..

    Posted by Sky Arrow September 5, 09 12:06 AM
  1. Headlock, while I yelled, "call the police!"
    I'm only 5'2", but when my child is threatened, ooo the adrenalin hits.
    I wouldn't wrestle him to the ground and beat his head against the floor unless he struggled. Wouldn't want to muddy the prosecution by assaulting him as well.

    Posted by lagibbytoo September 5, 09 12:20 AM
  1. this is the funniest story i have heard all month
    HAH H AH AH AH AHA

    kid probably deserved it

    Posted by louie September 5, 09 01:51 AM
  1. I would kick him where it counts!

    Posted by Mary September 5, 09 08:11 AM
  1. I love this repeated argument: "She could have been hungry, sick, tired, wanted a toy, etc."

    1) Isn't hunger easily remedied BEFORE a shopping trip?
    2) Tired and sick children need to be home in bed, not out gallivanting. As pointed out in other posts (by people who would beat a man to death after their neglected child wandered into a dangerous situation), parents of sick children could easily use the Internet to shop while their children are sick.
    3) Having a negative reaction to toy denial is common; however, some parents handle this better than others. I think the parents that would bring a sick, tired, hungry (i.e. neglected) child out shopping would not consider other shoppers' perspectives in the 20 minute, ear-drum shattering scream scenario.

    By the responses of the "hungry, sick, tired, wanted a toy, etc." crowd, are complete strangers to assume that a screaming child's basic needs (food/rest) are not being met by their parents? If people witness this behavior, should social services be called? What is, exactly, the village's responsibility in these situations?

    Posted by Crappy Parents Always Have Excuses Never Consideration for their Children or Others September 5, 09 09:00 AM
  1. I would have found the closest glass bottle or sharp object and hit him over the back of head with it. Or maced him and then shanked him in the neck/lung with a sharp object. Then I would be the one taken away. If any man tried to get near my niece or nephew , he would have to fight me to the death first. Hell have no fury like a momma bear protecting her baby cubs. The old man should be grateful he did not run into me or he would be on a ventilator.

    Posted by Marsha Gilmore September 5, 09 09:19 AM
  1. I would have a hard time not killing someone who slapped my child. I would certainly have attacked him with whatever I had handy. THEN I would have called the police.

    Posted by bobi September 5, 09 09:32 AM
  1. What is all this "don't have kids to make the rest of us miserable" garbage? You were all kids at one time...or maybe that's the problem, you never grew up and still think like a self-centered child.

    No matter what the mom was or wasn't doing there is NO excuse for what that guy did. Kudos to the other shopper who restrained him until help arrived.

    Posted by LizM September 5, 09 09:53 AM
  1. Oh, they'd be calling the cops alright - for protecting the old man after I gave him the beating of his life...

    Posted by ME September 5, 09 10:27 AM
  1. Jada,
    Why are you even on this board? It sounds like you don't or ever will have kids so it doesn't make sense that you would even have an opinion. You have no idea why this kid was crying! Back in the day, your mom gave your blankie to shut you up??!! Really?? you know for a fact that you never had a fit in public at the age of 2? i find that hard to believe. People like you, who don't understand that kids are kids and they are not perfect. You're the entitled one..Don't shop at stores where kids may be if you don't want to be around them. Why should we have to make all the accomodations for people like you? Go waste your time somewhere else.

    Posted by kkcv September 5, 09 11:27 AM
  1. #173 - "2) Tired and sick children need to be home in bed, not out gallivanting. As pointed out in other posts (by people who would beat a man to death after their neglected child wandered into a dangerous situation), parents of sick children could easily use the Internet to shop while their children are sick." // The guy STILL had no business slapping the toddler (and overkill much? FOUR times!) // You are addressing a DIFFERENT issue. In my crummy neighborhood, I often see young (teens, early 20s) out late at night with their exhausted children, because the parents want a social life and either don't want or can't afford to get a sitter. What selfish parents (NOT blaming the kids!!). If they wanted a social life that young, they should have either terminated the pregnancy, or placed the baby for adoption. Not everyone deserves to be a parent.

    Posted by reindeergirl September 5, 09 12:57 PM
  1. I would whip his ass if that was my child, police would have to arrested me for murder in this case. This guy needs to be slapped around few times or kidded in the face and then we can ask him if he liked it at all. Fucking old people they make me sick.......

    Posted by ALH September 5, 09 12:58 PM
  1. I do wish that old guy was on the T line I have to ride. Yakety-yak-yak ADULTS, on cell phones all the time, screaming into their phones about nonsense. These same "grown-ups" ignore their needy child because the call is oh-so-important. What happened to sex ed classes in the schools? What happened to the heyday of birth control for youngsters?

    Far worse than a crying child, IMHO, is the yakking on cell-phones. Can't we get cell-phone free T's?

    Posted by reindeergirl September 5, 09 01:03 PM
  1. #75 (Omar) - You "Praise Jesus," yet condone spanking? Go wash your moutn - and brain - out with soap.

    Posted by reindeergirl September 5, 09 01:06 PM
  1. Just another reason to avoid shopping @walmart, silly rabbits, slapping kids, Yes, he should have slapped the mom. No Bail: too bad Georgia doesn't keep real criminals in jail for such a minor incident. I suppose the residents no feel real safe, that a poor stupid fool who was trying to sent the woman a message: shut your kid up, it is not all about you,
    control your children! Attention walmart shoppers, slaps half off on aisle 12!

    Posted by jj September 5, 09 01:20 PM
  1. Slapping a child 4 or 5 times in the face is Not discipline, that is abuse. If he had done it to an adult he woluld be facing criminal charges it should be double for doing it to a child. For all of you talking about single mothers unruly children are not confined to single mothers or fathers. If you want to discipline a child spank it on the bottom not in its face.

    Posted by Jen September 5, 09 01:38 PM
  1. Reindeergirl - how do you relate praising jesus and spanking? What, I can't discipline my kid and praise God? Your'e the one without a brain...

    You spank them when they need it when they are young, and you won't have to deal with that baloney for a lonnnnng time...

    Posted by ME September 5, 09 04:57 PM
  1. I would be arrested for assault. You're right, violence is not the answer, but that would not have stopped me -- of course, trouble would have began when he first threatened violence.... Hopefully, I would be calm enough to alert security at the initial threat.

    Posted by Meredith September 5, 09 05:11 PM
  1. First the man would have not even got close enough to my child to slap him/her,as soon as he said "either you shut up your child or I will" that would indicate to me a red flag and I would let the man have a piece of my mind and he would have to deal with me,I can not believe the mother let him even hit her daughter not only once but four times,or even come as close as he did to her child,and for any reason if he did get to my child and hit him/her, i would claw that mother f****** eyes out and I would be in prison the rest of my life for killing him.I dont care who you are you have no right to assult anyone. Especially a hel;pless 2 year ild. What is this world coing to?

    Posted by Krystalyn September 5, 09 09:00 PM
  1. Looks like the "childfree" people who spend their precious "freedom" talking about other people's children for hours on end are here. Yawn.

    Posted by Infoferret September 6, 09 12:13 AM
  1. I had a similar thing happen to me while in a super market in Alabama, a man slapped my 3 year olds' hand, he felt my fist hit him in the face, cops came, situation was explained and I was exonerated by self-defense. Not sure how this would go over in the Socialist Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but in Good Ol Alabama, the individual has the right to defend his and his families rights. Guy ended up with a broken jaw. I finished my shopping and went to the house.

    Posted by Mark from Alabama September 6, 09 04:28 AM
  1. It's amazing how many people say that they would beat up the old man. They are preaching violence to combat violence. When does the cycle end? Do they also teach their kids to combat violence with violence? At least in this case, there was no additional violence. The man was arrested and hopefully will be prosecuted.

    Posted by Douglas Peeke September 6, 09 08:18 AM
  1. I applaud the other shopper who restrainted this violent man. I would have quickly picked up my child to comfort him/her and grabbed the man's shirt with my other hand and shook him, asking him repeatedly if he were crazy. I would have called for help and had him arrested, absolutely. What is wrong with people? Children cry and they are a part of life. I guess that man must have experienced a lot of violence when he was a child, to think that is the way to handle a situation. Does he go around slapping adults if they are talking too loud in stores, or does he just get his kicks out of beating children?

    Posted by Nancy September 6, 09 10:11 AM
  1. I don't have any kids but have plenty of friends who do. If I saw another person hit a child of mine or a friends' child of mine I would knock that person out. OK....not really but I would want to. I would grab the person though and tell them to back off.

    Posted by Paul September 6, 09 10:11 AM
  1. Does anyone here really believe this full grown man slapped a 2 year old 4 or 5 times across the face and the only evidence of that was a slightly red cheek? No split lip, no bruising?

    I'm not excusing it, there's no excuse for it, obviously the man has anger issues and possibly some diminished capacity. I'm glad the police were called, I'm glad he'll get some help.

    Now let this be a lesson to those irresponsible, inattentive parents who think it's OK to totally ignore their ill behaved children as they disrupt whatever venue, impacting everyone around them and their ability to enjoy that venue.

    I'm dang tired of leaving restaurants, theaters & parks because little Bobby is screaming for twenty minutes non stop while Mom completely ignores it & doesn't make the decision to remove him. If it's 4 pm on Saturday & you've been traipsing little Jenny from store to store since 9 am, please take her home. She's tired & hungry, you've pushed her way beyond the tolerance level of a small child and it's time to go home.

    I won't even go into the morons who knowingly take their little one on a plane, without planning multiple methods of entertaining the child.

    We live in a diverse society, not everyone is wrapped all that tight. You can go about your business trying not to adversely impact others and therefore keep yourself out of this type of situation, or you can invite it.

    Posted by Michele September 6, 09 10:15 AM
  1. I don't have children but am appalled at this guy's actions. However, some parents seem to have forgotten that it's a free country and other people are still allowed to be irritated by screaming children, whether you like it or not.

    It's one thing to have a screaming kid. It's another to totally ignore the screaming kid in a public place, like what I experienced a few weeks ago at a JC Penney's. Parents just yakking away in conversation while the kid in a stroller is pitching a complete fit. Unbelieveable.

    Posted by qb qt September 6, 09 10:38 AM
  1. As my friend says, I'd go Springer on him!

    Posted by Jennifer September 6, 09 10:50 AM
  1. I would punch him in his face as hard as I could!

    Posted by mr.insightful September 6, 09 11:37 AM
  1. There is a certain scene in the movie "American History X" that I would reenact whole-heartedly should a stranger put their hands on my child. And I think making him bite the curb for a good "curb-stomping" would have been an appropriate lesson.

    As to saying that violence perpetuates violence and that being arrested is enough, I fear that my maternal instincts trump any mercy I may have felt at that moment. It's a child. A CHILD. Someone must defend and place vengeance for the innocent.

    Posted by LvlyRenee September 6, 09 11:50 AM
  1. The parent probably couldn't shut the child up or discipline him without just leaving the store. It seems that children especially younger ones just want until you are in the store to start crying. And they wont stop. The parents try to hurry up with their shopping but they get more aggravated by the minute. And others customers complaining doesn't help.

    I think children shouldn't be taken to the store. Find someone to watch them. A babysitter, a child day care. Something. There is always something available. Shopping at Walmart is difficult enough without having to put up with a bunch of screaming kids.

    I think the old man was wrong in slapping the kid but yet what is there that is the right thing? Just deal with it? Why should the old man leave the store? Perhaps that was the only day he could shop. I don't see why he would should.

    Maybe Walmart should think about having a daycare for kids to be dropped off as the parents are shopping?

    I don't like to hear crying kids either. It gets on my nerves. But I am limited to how and when I am able to go shopping also. And I wouldn't like to be made feel that I should leave the store and come back at a later time to do my shopping.

    I just bite my tongue and give the parents of a screaming kid dirty looks. I would like to say something but I don't do it. I would like to tell the parent to shut that screaming brat up. Isn't there a law against noise abuse or something?

    Posted by Carol September 6, 09 01:08 PM
  1. Children, especially 2-yr olds, are learning about social boundaries. Every experience at home and out in public are opportunites to learn about acceptable behavior. A fit from a 2-yr old could mean anything--tired, hungry, or just not getting their way. Parents often have to choose their battles and must assert that bad behavior will not earn a child anything. "Controlling" a child by appeasing them with a favorite toy or threatening them is not teaching. Sometimes some kind words or gentle admonishment from a stranger will go a long way for a child to realize the impact of his/her behavior. A slap or physical violence will instill fear. For those of you without children, somebody taught you how to behave properly in public--thanks for your patience while we teach the next generation. A different way is not necesaryily a bad way.

    Posted by MP September 6, 09 02:21 PM
  1. I always wonder about the parents that just let their kids just cry on and on and on...They seem to be pretty clueless, and the world would probably be a better if some of these folks never had a child(ren), but what this clown did is inexcusable, and he should go to jail on and assault and battery charge. Make an example of this fool, and send him to jail for at least 1 year. As a husband, if this happened on my wife's watch, and she could handle this individual, I would hunt him down and give him a whuppin' he would not forget.

    Posted by DB22 September 6, 09 02:25 PM
  1. I don't think I would have let it gotten to the point that a stranger would discipline my child. When I was growing up, if any of us were out of control, my mother would just leave the store--cart full of groceries, etc.--and take us home. I would rather have someone be aware that his/her child is screaming incessantly, than have them ignore it, and continue shopping. It's unfair to assume all of us want to listen to that...as some of the others have mentioned, get a babysitter and leave your child at home.

    And, those who mentioned not allowing anyone else to discipline your children, what happens when they go to school, and the teacher, principal, etc. has to discipline them? Are you going to get upset with the teacher for trying to maintain her classroom?

    Please, people...just THINK first....thanks!

    Posted by EMC September 6, 09 03:33 PM
  1. The man who slapped the child was certainly in the wrong and should be punished but there is NO EXCUSE for letting a child yell, cry and scream in a public place. As a parent you handle it. So often these days parents do not parent. They do not teach their children what is acceptable or hold them to any standards. To make an excuse and say the child was overtired etc is just more namby pamby Hogwash. When my Mom or Dad told me to be quiet I did. Fear is a great motivator for childen. We just dont exercise it often enough.

    Posted by Tiredofwimpyparents September 6, 09 03:48 PM
  1. I'd bust their nose, if I was feeling generous..

    Posted by Justin Case September 6, 09 05:05 PM
  1. I really just don't get it! This man threatened her! He threatened the mother beforehand why did she not report him?
    I've read elsewhere: "Yes, people do threaten, “jokingly” or otherwise, to physically assault a child for crying, quite often."
    WTF? This has never happened to me or anyone I know - if people are threatening your child "quite often" you might want to try a parenting class, or better yet consider putting the child up for adoption!

    Posted by MsManners September 6, 09 05:19 PM
  1. leave the little brats at home

    Posted by roger September 6, 09 05:30 PM
  1. definitely assault. i am speechless. thank god the child is so young and won't remember being physically assaulted by a stranger.

    i have never physically disciplined my children. tantrums usually have a basis in strong emotions, and if you teach your children how to voice and channel those emotions, they learn emotional regulation. a child who breaks rules can be disciplined by taking away privileges. hitting is abuse. always, except in self-defense.

    hitting is abuse. i say it again. maybe if we stop using physical discipline, we will raise non-abusers. have you seen the stats for child and domestic abuse? hitting is abuse.

    i don't want my children to fear me. i want them to respect and love me. my two children are wonderful, polite, caring, respectful, and considerate. i am very proud of them.

    i hope they stick that man in jail. what a creep. the words i would like to use would not be published here.

    Posted by Chloe September 6, 09 06:52 PM
  1. I recently witnessed a mother roughing up her own kid in the check out at a grocery store - the child was merely being whiny, probably a perpetual state for the poor thing due to parental indifference to his existence. I spoke up, saying there has got to be a better way of handling the situation and barely made it out of there alive. Other shoppers and the cashier screamed at me and called me choice names! It was mind boggling. It is also mind boggling that this guy who assaulted another human being was only charged with cruelty to a child - why doesn't a child warrant the more serious charge of assault?

    Posted by cantstandya September 6, 09 08:02 PM
  1. I would show him my Glock .40

    Posted by NH Native September 6, 09 09:03 PM
  1. even as a parent I get annoyed when other people's children are screaming incessantly. When my autistic son was young and prone to tantrums, guess what... I DIDN'T take him to the store or mall (imagine?). However, no one can assume what the situation was here beyond what is reported, and if some SOB or B ever touched my kid for any reason, I'd be hauled away for attempted murder. End of story.

    Posted by smbrooks1 September 6, 09 11:17 PM
  1. Hey Louie 171 I say we all find you and SLAP THE SNOT RIGHT OUT OF YOU JAGOFF!!!

    Posted by John D September 6, 09 11:43 PM
  1. # 96...

    " Plus, any 61-year old white guy from Stone Mountain, GA is going to be a huge Clinton / Obama fan."

    I live in Stone Mountain now and this town is pretty conservative, considering it's where the KKK was revived in 1915.

    From the latest artivles, the man probably has mental illness.

    Posted by Concordian living in Stone Mtn. September 7, 09 12:10 AM
  1. I would tell him he should run for cover!!!!!!!

    Posted by momof1 September 7, 09 01:41 AM
  1. Clearly assault and battery - it is unfortunate that the parent did not stand between this thug and their child and invoke their - and their child's - own right of self-defense...

    Put this cretin to work bustin' rocks...and the sooner, the better...

    Creep...

    Posted by CrookedPolsAndCEOs September 7, 09 02:34 AM
  1. Face the facts: A two year old is really still a baby. And what do two year olds do? They cry! I don't even remember being two years old, so for any of you posters to hint that this was okay (even in the most roundabout way) suggests that you've either never dealt with kids, or completely lost your parental instincts.

    Posted by Steve September 7, 09 02:51 AM
  1. I would return the physical abuse then get a lawyer and make him even more miserable then he is.

    Posted by Wow September 7, 09 08:59 AM
  1. This fills me with conflicting emotions. I'm the child-free person who always, always tries to distract a fussy baby or toddler in the checkout line with smiles, goofy faces, and peek-a-boo. Every parent needs an inning of relief pitching, and I can suck it up for a few minutes to make everybody's life a little easier. They're BABIES, for goodness' sake. Their brains aren't done yet. That this man felt it was okay to assault a toddler for the sin of crying makes him unfit to breathe free air.

    Yet I can also remember being in a restaurant that was mostly quiet, save for a few of us on the perimeter and a large extended family in the center. A couple of the children, probably aged 5 or so, were running and running all over the restaurant while the adults did nothing. More than once the waitress nearly tripped over them--once almost spilling a huge tray of very hot hot-and-sour soups all over the kid. I would have been first in line to testify at the civil suit--for the restaurant. What do you do when parents won't control their children in a public space and the lack of control presents a threat to the children's safety or the safety of others?

    Posted by gidgetcommando September 7, 09 09:39 AM
  1. Citizens arrest and civil lawsuit ... if I was able to restrain myself from kicking his posterior :-)

    Posted by Irish-lad September 7, 09 10:47 AM
  1. People who choose to have children are selfish, irresponsible egomaniacs.

    The world is running out of resources, but these people need to have little monuments to themselves because their legacy is so scary important.

    Posted by Freud September 7, 09 12:19 PM
  1. Some kids just need to be slapped. That's the end of the story.

    Posted by Colonel Colonel September 7, 09 01:02 PM
  1. obnoxious kids&parents should be slapped more often, or what?

    Posted by josephine September 7, 09 01:43 PM
  1. I am shocked and saddened at the number of people who seem to blame kids/parents when the child is crying. There are a LOT worse things in the world than that! Children, especially young ones like a 2 year-old, do not have the control yet to stop crying and most kids that young cry because they are hungry, tired, overwhelmed etc. It happens. When my daughter would meltdown I would be clam and try to reassure her; sometimes it worked, sometimes not. Everyone I encountered in those situations was kind and understood. She was not trying to annoy or bug anyone else; she was being TWO.
    If anyone laid a finger on my child or me for that matter, you'd better be prepared for a throw-down.

    Posted by Trixie September 7, 09 04:16 PM
  1. Me? I would have beaten this guy like a rented mule.

    Posted by pat cat September 7, 09 06:43 PM
  1. My wife would have called me and by the time I was done, the guy and any of his friends wouldn't look at another child again.

    Posted by Dave Bennett September 7, 09 08:52 PM
  1. This topic has been beaten to death
    No pun intended :)
    can you take this down now?

    Posted by ava September 7, 09 08:56 PM
  1. You don't hit people, end of story. The guy lost his fool mind and was way out of line. He deserves to be jailed, no matter what was going on.

    That said? How can you have someone - a stranger - tell you more than once that your child is obnoxious and not even carry the kid outside for a few minutes to try to calm them down? My mother did that with me - if I was pitching a tantrum, regardless of why, she carried me out and waited until I was fit to be around other humans. If someone tells you that your kid if annoying them, and you're in public? Go elsewhere for a while. You have a duty to everyone, not just your offspring. The self-righteous "My child, my rules, you can leave if my kid's screaming is making your ears bleed while you hunt up some vegetables." attitude is just continuing the cycle of self-absorbed useless brats.

    Posted by Kate September 7, 09 09:39 PM
  1. Bottom line, That is assault. What if he didnt like the sales clerk? No one has the right to physically hit anyone especially a child. Kids throw tantrums all the time. Anyone who thinks it is by lack of a parents guidence does not have children. People who say...I never did that...yeah ya did you just dont remember you were 2. They hit a certain age where they are just unruly then they get past it. As a parent you try to avoid going to a store if possible but sometimes you have to if you are low on milk or diapers of some necessity. Believe me it is least fun for the parent of that unreasonable toddler. So many factors contribute to a situation with a 2yr old. They all go threw it and they all get past it. I would hope if this man had the audacity to say something let alone strike my child that I could refrain myself from ripping his head off until the police arrived and I let the system handle the crime. Because letting the police handle it would be the right thing to do. I would definitely press charges for assault to my child.

    Posted by Linda A September 7, 09 10:27 PM
  1. I'd slap 'em back. No excuse for hitting my child.

    Posted by plattsburghsox September 7, 09 11:00 PM
  1. Should he have slapped the child? NO...However as Dear Abby once said, "a crying child is like a New Years resolution...it should be carried out". If the mother had left the store with the child until it calmed down or stopped crying, none of this would have happened.

    Posted by J September 8, 09 12:06 AM
  1. People from Georgia are just weird.

    Posted by Smarmy Jack September 8, 09 01:36 AM
  1. It's assault and battery.

    Posted by bob September 8, 09 02:38 AM
  1. Parenting isn’t easy; sometimes children can be a real challenge. It can be particularly difficult when parents and children are struggling in public and others are staring. A crying baby, a cranky toddler, a bad day at work, or too much to do and too little time…all of these things can affect how a parent responds to his or her child and how we, the general public, respond to them. We’ve all had bad days. That is why it is so important that we step in helpfully when we see a parent or child struggling. Not in judgment, anger or criticism (as we see with Mr. Stephens of Stone Mountain). But rather, with a kind word, a helping hand, a sympathetic smile or a simple distraction. This may be all that it takes to make a parent’s day, or keep a child safe and happy. To learn more about stepping in when parents and children are having a difficult time, visit www.onekindword.org.

    Posted by Christine P September 8, 09 10:43 AM
  1. he never would have made it out of the store ALIVE!!

    Posted by disguted September 8, 09 01:24 PM
  1. I'm not very big on violence, but you don't touch anyone else's kids. I know if that was my child, I would have beat him down. I would have made sure that he would have thought twice about touching mines. Thta does not make any sense. What was he thinking slapping a 2 year old and especially not his child?

    Posted by Kami J September 8, 09 11:38 PM
  1. Great article. While nobody loves to hear a screaming child, as a parent I know (as I've been in this mother's shoes MANY TIMES) that sometimes there just isn't anything you can do about it and it's just easier to let the kid cry and HURRY LIKE CRAZY to get out of the store.

    Just because we have a two-year-old doesn't mean our lives stop. We still have things we need to get done, places to go, etc.

    Posted by Jill September 9, 09 11:26 AM
  1. Jill, it's people like you that are the problem:
    "While nobody loves to hear a screaming child, as a parent I know (as I've been in this mother's shoes MANY TIMES) that sometimes there just isn't anything you can do about it and it's just easier to let the kid cry and HURRY LIKE CRAZY to get out of the store.

    Just because we have a two-year-old doesn't mean our lives stop. We still have things we need to get done, places to go, etc."

    Your life doesn't stop when you have a kid but it sure as hell should change!
    Why should 100 people in a store have to listen to your kid screaming? Because it's 'easier' for you?

    "...maybe the child was sick" What in earth's name are you doing bringing a sick child to the hotbed of germs that is a Wal-Mart? A sick child should be in home in bed!

    "...maybe the child was hungry" Last I heard, feeding a child resolves that issue fairly quickly.

    "...maybe the child was tired." Again, while it might be inconvenient for the parent, a nap will 'fix' that problem within a half hour or so!

    And my all time favorite, in response to the tried and true sensible parenting tip 'Remove the child from the situation' :
    "...sometimes it's just not possible to remove a cranky / crying / etc. child from the situation, have you seen the lines at Wal-Mart?"

    It is ALWAYS possible to remove your child from a situation. STOP using that excuse! Be honest! It is not always convenient for YOU to do so. You are not doing your child any favors with inconsistent parenting.

    If your child is cranky, tired, hungry, sick, in pain, etc. it is the pinnacle of bad parenting to bring them into a situation with the overwhelming sensory input of a Wal-Mart!

    Children are not stupid, they learn very quickly if they are treated to consistent, logical rules!
    If you believe the world should revolve around you and your schedule and it's 'easier' to put a child through that then maybe you should get a puppy instead - although you'll probably decide it's too inconvenient to train it!

    Posted by MsManners September 11, 09 07:07 AM
  1. I see many many people commenting that no one has the right to discipline someone elses child. What this man did was ABUSE -not discipline. A swat on the bottom could be called discipline - done in love by the parent. This was a big 61 year old strange man beating on a baby. He should be horse whipped!

    Posted by Jillian Armit September 13, 09 09:24 PM
  1. I would have broken his arm. My children are usually well behaved in the store, and we often receive compliments about their behavior. But I have had to go in during nap time to pick up stuff before I went to work & they have sometimes cried in the store. You have one extreme to the other. I actually saw a man apply his hand to the backside of a 4-year-old boy & have the police called on him for disciplining his own kid for acting wild and being rude.

    Posted by strict parent September 18, 09 10:11 PM
  1. I have a response to gi gi. People who chose to have kids and take them out in public need to be resposible enough to manage them. The key word is RESPONSIBILTY.

    Posted by Dan December 13, 09 11:41 PM
  1. For mom2J and Charleston mom above, the key is being a RESPONSIBLE parent. Take RESPONSIBILITY for your kids and take care of their needs.

    Posted by Dan December 14, 09 12:02 AM
  1. I am hearing a common theme here.You don't have the right to hit my child but I do. No you don't. Period. Hitting anyone for any reason is assault. The "it's okay for me to hit my kid as if I own them" is not your call, it's the law. The old man that was mentioned was raised with the same WRONG thinking that you have if you think hitting is an answer. Restraining your children and letting them cry is just fine. They will get over it after a while when you ignore them unless they behave. Children want your attention, if they don't act right you don't give it to them. If the only attention your kid gets is when they act bad and you hit them, then they will continue to act bad until you hit them just to get your attention. We all have things to do but if you have to take your child out in public, talk with them while you go. Let them know what you are doing. Emposwer your child to act right. If they aren't old enough to understand they need to be at a sitter's, with your mom, etc. NOT in public. The rest of us who don't hit our children (and that is the majority now) will want to beat you when you hit your own kid. The idiots who you see hollering, "You want to cry, I'll teach you to cry!" and then hit the kid so they scream louder, is an idiot and if you hit your kid for any reason, remember the guys in prison who beat someone to death were taught by parents like you that hitting someone makes you right. The bigger you are you can be in control if you just hit someone. If you think that is okay, think about how you would feel if you went to court and had a traffic violation that angered the judge and he heard you plead guilty and said, "Bailif, beat that moron!" and they proceded to kick your ass. He is the authority, you were wrong, by your way of thinking, why not? Is that the kind of thinking you want to teach a child? When you see someone hitting a child you just have to wonder how insecure are you that you think you deserve to treat another human being like that. Like you said, there are people like me who have walked up and smacked the parent a couple times and ask them how they liked it, when I was young and didn't care about getting arrested myself. What did you teach a child by hitting them? Nothing except they should fear you. You may be telling yourself that you are teaching them something but actually are just venting your anger on them. Everyone in prison who "accidently" killed their child will tell you they were trying to do the same thing, just teach them something and they just got carried away or something accidently happened. Like the guy who hits his kid with a belt and then accidently hits them in the eye with the buckle, blinded the child in one eye, and is now doing twenty years for mayhem. STUPID!

    Posted by Arizona Mildman February 2, 10 06:50 AM
  1. When my wife and I would go out, If our daughter would act up and start crying, we would tell her to stop crying or we would leave. Well, we would end up leaving and come back when the issue was solved. But if someone would slap my daughter like that child was slapped at Walmart, I would break every single finger in that person's hand that had struck my child. My wife can bail me out later. There are numerous reasons as to why a child might be acting up and crying. It could be from being hungry, needing to be changed, teething, just being a little rascal, tired, or an internal medical issue etc. . . Even if the child is a toddler. But hitting someone else's child is just wrong. If the parent's can't stop the child from crying, they should remove the issue from the area that is bothering the other people until the situation is better. But some parents don't understand that the issue at hand can be disrupting, and they are too ignorant to see it is opposing a problem to others around them. So the person or people who are having an issue should politely ask the parent or parents if there is anything they can do to help solve the situation. If not, the one's having the issues should let the business know if applicable and have the issue removed from the establishment. Just my opinion. .

    Posted by Shiloh Ray February 3, 10 01:20 AM
  1. OMG People...I didn't read all the responses BUT why in the world would anyone think "crying" is a reason for DISCIPLINE? What if this had been an adult sitting outside of Walmart 'crying' - should we slap people (of ANY age) that are in distress?

    Posted by Julie-in Hawaii - working on Child Abuse laws December 6, 11 06:59 PM
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Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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