slap my kid, pick up your teeth.

Here’s one for the parents among you:

You’re shopping at MalWart with your two-year-old kid.  Your child is a little fussy, and crying about something—not an unusual state of affairs for a kid that age.

Some stranger gets annoyed by your kid’s crying, tells you to ‘shut her up, or I’ll shut her up for you,” grabs the kid, and slaps her across the face four or five times.

What would you do?

(If I had been in that spot with my kid….well, let’s just say he’d not quite look as unblemished for his mugshot as he does in the one you’ll see when you read the article.  Yes, crying kids can be annoying—and trust me when I tell you that the parent is usually way more annoyed than you are—but you Don’t. Touch. My. Kid. Ever, unless you want to find out the extent of your medical plan’s coverage. )

67 thoughts on “slap my kid, pick up your teeth.

  1. Shane says:

    I’d say he would probably need a prepaid burial plan.

  2. Roy Martin says:

    Now, I’ll be following this especially since it was in my former beloved state of Georgia, to see if he’ll land on the Sexual Offender Registry since any crime involving a minor will get you there!

  3. George says:

    Geeez, who says you can’t tell a book by the cover! That knucklehead even looks like a cranky old geezer!

    • Joni says:

      Yea, let anyone into Wal-Mart even creepy looking old geezers! Wonder who burnt his toast that morning. He is damn lucky that wasn’t my kid ~ I’m quite sure I would returned punch or two! If you can’t handle children stay home.

  4. lauridarlin says:

    What a frigging jerk. I would have had to hurt him.

  5. sarah gray says:

    I would call 911. After I kicked him hard enough in the crotch to keep him there for a bit.

    • Don says:

      HA HA All I can say is had this happend to my little 2 yr old baby girl. I can only say the charges against me would be much more severe. There is no way in hell he would have walk out of that store. Carried out yes walked out no!!!

    • Chrystoph says:

      Sarah, avoid the crotch shot. Most men are expecting it, and it is easily blocked. all it requires is a quick twist of the hip and you hit the thigh.

      If you want incapacitation, learn other methods, like a kick to the shin. Most people don’t expect it, and it hurts like bloody hell. It also gives you time for other options.

  6. Fist, meet face. Repeatedly.

    Oh, and Sarah has the right idea, too…
    knee, meet ‘nads.

  7. perlhaqr says:

    I hope bail would be low enough for my wife to make it.

    Further, respondent saith not.

  8. Fjolnirsson says:

    Hel’s lacy panties! I reckon there wouldn’t be enough left to put cuffs on if someone tried that with the girl cub. Just a bloody smear on the floor where the employees could put one of those pop-up orange cones…

  9. William the Coroner says:

    You don’t discipline another person’s child. EVER.
    You don’t hit another person period.

    I’d use whatever level of force necessary to stop the threat to my child.

  10. The problem is that he has your child. You have to get your child away from him before anything else is even a consideration.

    And once you have your kid, do you put him down to go fight? In the real world, probably not. I’m honestly not sure how that would go down. Much depends on the unknown. Can I just snatch my kid out of his arms, or is he going to put up a fight? If he wants to fight, that part is settled, because he can just keep after my child. But if he doesn’t, he can probably get away from me. I need to take care of my kid.

    This is a little like the mover target/Tueller drill that Ahab linked the other day. I bet it never even occurred to the mother that a stranger would simply snatch her kid up and start striking him (her?) I’d double down on another bet, that if you asked her, she’d say that by the time she understood what was happening, it was over.

    That’s my intellectually honest answer. Now my emotionally honest answer:
    Superman punch–>underhooks–>body lock–>sweeping throw. I would hit him with the planet.
    If he’s still fighting, pass to mount–>punch a lot.
    If he gives his back, choke him out and hold him until cavalry gets there.

    Back to intellectual honesty: chances are I’d get a knife in the kidneys doing this . . . . and chances are that if the child in the story had been in line with her father, this crazy guy would have stood there fuming and ranting, but not crossed the line.

  11. Strings says:

    Honestly, were it my child (or a child “attached” to me), I would assume threat of great bodily harm, and proceed accordingly.

    Unless said child is away from my side, and has hurt themselves, DO NOT TOUCH. If I see someone I don’t know touching a child I’m responsible for in any manner, they’d better be VERY quick (and eloquent) about explanations.

    Would LOVE if this had been at the Sprawlmart dad works at: he’s been looking for an excuse…

  12. Jay G. says:

    His next-of-kin had better hope his DNA is stored on file somewhere, because I guaran-damn-tee that there wouldn’t be enough teeth left for dental records to identify the body.

  13. cathy says:

    Put him in a mental ward!
    Had I even been there they would have had scrap him off the floor.
    No one has the right to hit a child that cannot defend themselves.
    What is wrong with people everyday you hear more and more about people hurting kids.

  14. MauserGirl says:

    We were discussing this on one of the dog boards I belong to, and I feel that there really isn’t a whole lot of information given in the article.

    If the news media has taught me anything is that it pretty rarely gets the real story and even more rarely gets it the way it has happened.

    Let me say this first – it is never ever okay to lay hands on anyone’s child. Or anyone else, for that matter, unless they happen to attack you first.

    That said, I think we don’t really know whether this was a case of a kid “just crying” as the articles make it sound, or whether this is a case of the kid screaming bloody murder, just carrying on and on, while the parent is completely ignoring the tantrum and completely oblivious to the fact that people around them may not want to be subject to those dulcet tones while they try to get their shopping done.

    Let’s face it, we all go to Walmart, and nine times out of ten, the children I encounter that are “crying” in the store are not just sobbing or being fussy, they are screaming at the top of their lungs, beating their little fists on the floor, because Mommy or Daddy won’t buy them a toy or a candy bar. And Mommy and Daddy are usually completely oblivious while their darling offspring’s scream are shattering glass and making everyone within a 100 mile radius cringe.

    It’s not exactly what I want to be subjected to when I step into a Walmart, and while I would never consider slapping another person’s child, I would most definitely ask them to quiet their child or take control of their child if it’s truly being a nuisance (or, in many cases, dangerous – as people let their kids ride bikes or bounce balls around stores or go play hide-and-seek in the clothing racks and all other manner of idiocy).

    When I see an article like this, I have to wonder – had the kid just been fussy, would this man have said anything to the mom? Would he have slapped the child had the mother made any effort to quiet her? I don’t know. But considering the way the media reports, those are things that definitely come to mind. I’m not willing to immediately place mom and daughter on a pedestal.

    • Catalyste says:

      I agree with this completely.

      I’m seeing different instances on these blogs that suggest that the guy just slapped the kid.

      But I also read that he repeatedly told the mother to do something about her child. This took place in different isles.

      So it makes me wonder what sort of mother is she to just ignore advice like that and think the faster she shops, the faster she can leave.

      Another thing I have to wonder is why did she just stand there while this guy just slapped her child 4 times?

      She was only proving his assertion right by being one of those oblivious parents that walk the isles of Wal-Mart with noisy children.

      We know he was wrong, but so was she.

      • Marko Kloos says:

        Catalyste,

        I’m guessing that you’re not a parent.

        Look: two-year-olds occasionally get very upset about random and often undefinable things. Lyra sometimes gets upset when I put her in the shopping cart instead of carrying her in my arm–which is not possible if you have another kid in that cart, and a bunch of groceries. Those two-seater kid seat carts are a bear to push and control with one hand, especially when loaded up.

        Now: my kid starts fussing and crying in the middle of the aisle, while I have stuff in my cart I need to get. It took me 30 minutes to drive to WalMart, and it’ll take me another 30 minutes to drive back home. Now, I can leave the store immediately to save other people’s tender sensibilities from the sound of a crying little girl, and waste the gas and time I’ve already expended to go shopping with two kids…or I can grind my teeth, finish shopping as quickly as I can, and leave as soon as I have everything I need.

        As a non-parent, you’ll say, “Just stop her crying!” Well, if you can figure out a way to reliably do that, I guarantee that someone will award you the Nobel Prize, and you’ll become the most famous and sought-after child psychologist in the world. You can’t just “do something about it.” Trust me, the sound of a crying child is not exactly music to my ears, either, and I have three times the stress because of it: the crying, the concern that other people may be inconvenienced, and the need to get my own shopping done.

        She was wrong? For having the temerity to go shopping with a two-year-old child?

        Before you talk about “oblivious parents” who “ignore advice” from non-parents, spend a week with a parent, and do all your weekly routines with a toddler in tow.

      • sarah gray says:

        For one, it doesn’t matter what the kid’s mom was doing. You don’t hit someone else’s kid. For another, the last I looked, Wal-mart was not full of Islands.

      • ATLien says:

        Sorry Marko, but i have to disagree. Millions of parents can get their kids to stfu. Every parent i know does. So if i feel that if you can’t do it, you’re doing it wrong. They’re not wild animals out of your control.

        • Rick R. says:

          ATLien,

          How many kids have you raised? Seriously.

          There are some times where the parent cannot quiet the child. I have seen my daughter fall so apart she started weeping that she wanted to stop crying HERSELF.

          At a certain point, you have three choices:

          1. Beat (not “spank”) the child into submission. NO GO.

          2. Take the child somewhere where they won’t annoy other people. Nice if it’s practical — I’ve done “tag team at the restaurant” with my wife while the little darling angel was doing a remarkable impression of a demon possessed wombat. I would CERTAINLY do that if in a movie theater or the like.

          3. Ignore the hysterics and drive on. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the only (or merely the best) option.

          Again, if you as an adult have so little self control that a TODDLER throwing a fit (no matter HOW bad) drives you to physical violence, ESPECIALLY towards a child, then YOU are the one who is too dangerous to be allowed out in society.

          It doesn’t matter HOW bad the child is behaving, nor how negligent you think the parent is. YOU are the dangerous, absolutely undisciplined freak, not the child if you think you have the authority to touch that child.

          I mean that literally — you (as the slapping stranger) are a danger to others, and need to be locked away where you cannot hurt children and other innocents.

          If you take it upon yourself to try to grab or hit my child for their temper tantrum, I am forced to conclude that you present an immeidate, unmistakeable, and lethal threat to my child.

          And I will react accordingly.

        • smijer says:

          I’m with Rick R., on this one – with the additional point that every kid is different. And, if you are blessed with a “special needs” child, it can be a whole different ballgame entirely.

        • alan says:

          kids are there own person they do there own thing thats how they learn when an older person goes to the shops and forgets things and kicks off or worse needs a pee or ect it happens it happend to with my nan when she started to it a little would you hit them no there old you would feel sorry for the person and there carer’s so why would you hit a kid or feel that they should punished by force you people make me sick

          it may never happen to you but it could
          you could have been that kid in the past
          you never know

        • alan says:

          oh and can i add if anyone got that close to my kid yes i dont know but i would like to think my wife would have to come get the kids because i would not be seeing them for a long time i would put them into there grave or try hard to do so i would only stop when i got pulled off them broken bones and i mean mine aswell sa theres

        • alan says:

          by the way the broken bones would be in my hands from hitting that hard

    • RAH says:

      When my son was very young and he went in tantrum mode I stoppped left the cart full or not even at the cash register and left. I would not put up with his bad beavior in public. One I got to the car I could discipline him.

      So if your child is being bad do not bring the child with you. I never went to movies or restaurants until my child could behave decently.

      I see many parents bring toddlers and babies at very late hours after 11 pm and the kid is very cranky. Parents failed to understand that a schedule is very important to young children and that they need a lot more sleep.

      • Rick R. says:

        Back to Sarah Gray’s (and other’s) comment:

        DO NOT HIT OTHER PEOPLE’S KIDS.

        No matter what.

        Neglectful parenting on MY part (even if true) does not mean you can threaten MY CHILD with lethal force.

        And yes, a stranger slapping a small child has initiated the use of lethal force.

        You can ask me to leave. You can whine and complain about how bad a parent I am being. You can loudly proclaim what a miserable father I am to let my child be such an uncontrollable monster brat.

        The INSTANT you reach out to touch my child without permission, you have crossed a dangerous line.

        If a 2 year old screaming while an exhasperated parent (and you seem to assume that this is an OPTIONAL trip, where it’s relatively easy to turn around, stuff teh kid back in the car, head home, and try again later — good thing you’re not a single parent working long hours, or live in a rural setting where a trip to Wal-Mart is literally a major block of “things we have to get done TODAY”, given the round trip time) just ignores them and tries to finish shopping is simply too much stress for an adult to get through a trip to a major department store, then it is the ADULT BEING BOTHERED who is exhibiting the more serious lack of self control necessary to walk around alone.

        Of course, this ignores the fact that there is a school of thought (backed some some evidence) that ignoring a child throwing a temper tantrum is the best LONG TERM solution to temper tantrums.

        The kid is throwing the temper tantrum generally because either:

        1. They do not want to be HERE. In which case, you just gave them a victory and taught them that tantrums work when you leave.

        or. . .

        2. They want attention — in which case you just gave them a victory and thaught them that tantrums work.

        or. . .

        3. Greedy little bugger wants something that you won’t let them have. If this is the true reason for the tantrum (remember, the TRIGGER is not necessarily the CAUSE), then immediately stopping everything and heading outside may well work. Of course, if the real cause is 1 or 2 and 3 is only an excuse, well, you just failed.

  15. angelia says:

    I don’t care if the kid was screaming bloody murder. You do not have the right to lay hands on another person’s child. EVER! I promise you if you laid hands on one of my children, you would be deader than dead. I would assume you were an emanate threat to my child’s life and I would obliterate you. It is not your place to discipline someone else’s child. If you don’t like the screaming and crying, walk somewhere else for a while.

  16. Glamdring says:

    I noticed in the video of the guy that he has some serious facial “tics” going on, actually more than one type.

    Reminds me of people I have met that had Tourette Syndrome.

  17. mikeb302000 says:

    I’d bet this guy wouldn’t have dared do that to another man’s kid. I’m glad he was arrested.

  18. pdb says:

    “Police said he hit her four or five times.”

    By slap #2 he would be examining the muzzle of my pistol. If I am alone with my kid, I do not have the luxury of engaging in fisticuffs and I will end the situation as quickly as possible. Whether the action concludes with Mr Slappers retreat or death, I’m fine either way.

    Harsh? Well, not being psychic, I am unable to divine his true intentions. Will he slap a couple times and stop? Will his rage escalate? Will he throw him on the ground and stomp on him? I see no reason to put my child’s life in jeopardy to find out.

    If Mr Slapper does not want a G19 in his face, he is well advised to not slap children who aren’t his.

    • cybrus says:

      Agreed – one slap is bad enough, but multiple slaps from a guy as big as this one seems definitely ups the ante to serious bodily injury to the child. If I’m flying solo with my child, I can’t risk leaving them defenseless or alone, so the dude would definitely be staring down the barrel. Hopefully he’d put the kid down gently so everyone could continue breathing – but the choice would be his…

  19. MarkHB says:

    Hm. I’ve been irritated to the point of teeth-grinding by howling, screeching, badly-behaved kids innumerable times. I can recall the taste of powdered tooth-enamel quite clearly. It can be like a dentists’ drill with percussion and gargling thrown in for good measure – but nothing can justify interfering with someone else’s kid. Especially not in a venue where one can simply leave, have a coffee or something and come back when the little meaty air-raid siren’s departed.

    The worst scenario, of course, is on an airliner. Jammed into a seat designed for Gurkhas, breathing rancid air and surrounded by howling infants being serially ignored by their parents – but even then, the correct person to slap is the parent not the child. (Before anyone gets all high-horsey, I mean that in jest. Mainly).

  20. Kaerius(SWE) says:

    While I am yet to become a parent, on the hypothetical situation that this happened when I was out with my little kid, by slap #2, I’d either:

    a) Kick him very very hard in the face (he’s slapping a 2 year old, so he’s gotta be squatting or bent).

    b) Disengage his grip from the kid and slam him face first into the floor. Jujutsu has its perks.

  21. I’m pretty much on the same page as pdb.

    I pray that I have the presence of mind that I’ve ingrained in myself to be aware of the threat as it approaches. Which shouldn’t be an issue if he’s been hounding me more than once through the store.

    When he approaches me, I’m going into defense mode. When he speaks the first words, my brain already has a firm grip on my Beretta. Son of a bitch so much as reaches for my daughter, I clear leather, and if that doesn’t result in a damned fast retreat then things are going full-on rodeo from there.

    I know that in the moment, a lot of stuff happens really fast.

    I carry a gun for a reason.

    tweaker

    • megscole64 says:

      If my kid is a teen and vandalizing your property you have my permission to cuff him upside the head. And call the cops. And hold him until they arrive.🙂

      As for a two year old…not so much. I am about to be a parent and I’m sure I’ll be utterly overwhelmed by trying to shop with a baby / and eventually toddler. By that point I’m sure I’ll have my CC … don’t touch my kid.

      I have shook (shaken?) my head at kids who were behaving badly while their parents chatted on their phones, totally ignoring their badly behaving kids. Totally throws the kids off usually. A grown up looking at me in a less than friendly way?!?! The Horrors!

  22. steve in CA says:

    I agree completely with Markos. I have 3 children, now adults and I understand these dynamics. I smile at people whose children are acting up, because I’ve been there. This guy is a control freak and it seems that he followed they lady aroound the store until he go “fed up” and acted. A real adult would have walked away, a control freak acts.

  23. Rusty P. Bucket says:

    Hi all~ I am a cranky old buzzard and can probably spe ak for all the curmudgeons out here . no, slapping other people’s kids is unacceptable under most circumstances especially the little ones.

    Having said that I have sat through ruined movies and grit my teeth while some ignorant a-hole lets his spoiled brat annoy the hell out of the rest of us. Two year olds aren’t stupid and most parents these days will let them get away with murder. If your kid is a disturbance, show some maturity and consideration and take the little chit out and deal with it yourself. You have no right to subject the rest of us to your stupid kids’ spoiled behaviour and bad days.

    All bets are off when the kid is in their teens though. If I catch your kids vandalizing my property or doing drugs or committing other crimes on my property – they are getting their blocks knocked off and you will too if ya want to be stupid about it. At that age they should know better and if the parent disciplines the child up front properly you have nothing to worry about.

  24. Brandon says:

    What pdb and Tweaker said.

  25. Chuck says:

    Well lets says this if the guy reached for my child or any child under my care a V strike to the throat WOULD of happened. He would of stopped alot of things, the reaching for my child and maybe even breathing, if he was good enough to be still standing mostly likely he would of be running out the store.

  26. smijer says:

    What irks me is that when I went to beat the shit out of the elementary school principle who used a WOODEN BOARD to hit my child, the cops came and arrested me!

    Ok, not really. It’s just weird that there was never an uproar against corporal punishment in the schools when so many people feel this way about other people hitting their children.

    • perlhaqr says:

      Several different factors between the two cases.

      One: Corporal Punishment was used primarily back in the days before schooling was compulsory, AFAIK. So, the parents had explicitly sent their children to be placed under the tutelage of those at the school, and there’s even a legal term for the responsibility they held over the children, in loco parentis. Which, pardon my latin, translates roughly as “acting as the parents”.

      Two: Presumably the Principal, while acting in a justice dispensing capacity, was not (or was hopefully not) acting while personally angry. There’s a significant difference between a mostly impartial spanking administered to an 8 year old to demonstrate the unpleasant consequences of poor decision making, and smacking a 2 year old in a blind rage for, frankly, acting like a 2 year old.

      • smijer says:

        One – I don’t know where you live, but where I live, they still use corporal punishment in schools now and have for all of the 20th century, during most of which school was compulsory. I do understand in loco parentis, but I don’t know that it extends to corporal punishment.

        Two – we’re talking about an especially outrageous case here with a 2-year-old… My god – that makes my jaw drop & I’m pretty jaded. But otherwise I wouldn’t count on your presumption that the school principle is not personally angry or on a personal power trip or personally sexually turned on or personally all of the above. There are good guys & bad guys among school principles – they aren’t comprised of some idealized icons of “justice”. And I wouldn’t call corporal punishment “justice” – at best it’s deterrence.

        So, yeah there are important differences, but the underlying reasons should have people upset with corporal punishment in schools, public or private.

        • Rick R. says:

          I am.

          I was subjected to corporal punishment in school, with my parent’s written permission. Nine years in Catholic school, K-8.

          Of course, when “punishment” escalated to “abuse” over the years, I never bothered to complain to my parents. They had TOLD me already why I was being beaten.

          After all, they selected the school becuase of it’s discipline and educational standards, right?

          After all, they agreed to it in writing, right?

          After all, my mother was a teach in the same school, right?

          But I was unaware of the fact that THEY were unaware (or in my mother’s case, chose plausible denial — note I didn’t say “deniability”) of how severe things were.

          I was once sent to get beaten because, one nun thought I was “sighing disrespectfully” in her class. (I was severely congested due to hayfever and was simply trying to get a full breath of air without mouth breathing.)

          Scheduled daily beatings from fourth through sixth grade on the theory of, if I hadn’t been caught doing something, that just meant I was too sneaky to catch. I had three boards broken on me in the course of the fifth grade.

          Several cases of beating ALL the male students in a class (second grade) one at a time to extract a confession for graffitti in the restrooms (which never came. . . about half way through, one of the boys fainted; several months later it came out that the guilty parties were in another grade altogether — the teachers had just ASSUMED it was my class).

          No, you DO NOT HIT MY KID.

          Not the school.

          Not the babysitter.

          Not even my own mother.

          Damned sure not some stranger.

          If my child needs physical correction (in four years she hasn’t yet), my wife or I will take care of it. Keep your booger hooks off, or we will bite.

  27. He wouldn’t be finding out the extent of his medical insurance if he touches my child. His family will discover the extent of his life insurance.

  28. Rick R. says:

    PDB WINZ TEH INTARWEBZ!

    Stranger grabs my kid. . .

    Or

    Stranger strikes my kid. . .

    Stranger gets as dead as quickly as I can make him, even at the risk of his 200 lbs ass falling on my kid.

    Because he is are too crazy for me to trust he WON’T kill my kid.

    ANY grown adult with anywhere near normal strength can kill any small child in a second. Period.

    This stranger has just attacked my child with a lethal threat — he dies.

    My wife? If it happened when she was the designated sheepdog, SHE’D be extra pissed at the guy for bleeding all over her expended magazines. ‘Cause she’s gonna shoot-reload-shoot until he stops twitching, moaning, or groaning. Because she’s a MOM whose child was just threatened. This falls under her policy of “Nuke ’em till they glow and shoot ’em in the dark!” theory of defending children from predators.

    • Rick R. says:

      Damnit. Partially edited from second person to thrid person — but didn’t catch all the verb changes.

  29. Assrot says:

    I’d have put a bullet or two in his ass. You can’t be slapping around a 2 year old. That could cause permanent damage if not death.

    No doubt about it. I would probably have been in fear for the life of my child and shot his ass right where he stood.

    Joe

  30. Dr. Feelgood says:

    If my kids are screaming and it annoys you then feel free to slap me, if you dare. However, if you choose to approach one of my children with your hand raised I will immediately black out and probably not respond when police command me to release your several pieces so they can place me under arrest.

  31. Phillip C says:

    When I looked down at my just-born son in the hospital, I knew right then that I would kill anyone who threatened his safety.

    He’ll be four next month. While he can get annoying at times (like all kids), I haven’t changed my position on that.

    You hurt my kid, I hurt you. Simple equation. I don’t know a single good parent that feels different.

  32. […] Marko asks what you would do as a parent in this situation.  I’m not a parent, but as soon as the threat was made I would have shoved him away from my kid and sprayed him.  I would assume that would stop your average 61 year old child slapper.  It’s a low enough level of force you don’t have to wait for him to follow through.  He announced his intention to commit and assault, a felony assault in most states, since it’s against a child.  Anyone who grabs my kid is getting a gun drawn on them.  I’m not going to wait to figure out what their intent is. […]

    • Rick R. says:

      Chemical spray?

      You’re going to get you kid too, in all likelyhood, and it WILL NOT stop anyone crazy enough to kill a strange kid.

      Sure it will stop a slightly crazy old man who feels he has the right to discipline any child he sees — but the problem is you can not KNOW how crazy he is off the bat.

      He has engaged your child with a lethal level of force. He needs to be stopped as close to instantly as possible.

      If staring down the muzzle of a gun makes him go away without a shot being fired, great. If he REFUSES to imediately surrender or flee under those circumstances, he’s intent on killing your and/or your child. You can take that as “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

      Chemical weapons, especially teh watered down levels available to civilians in many localities, are simply not reliable enough stoppers to protect your child from someone ALREADY close enough to kill them with a single slap.

      Yes, an adult can break a child’s neck with a single slap.

      That is the threat assessment.

  33. Dominique says:

    At the risk of derailing the discussion – what would have been the woman’s best option to avoid aforementioned child-slapping? Assuming that she needed to get her shopping done and couldn’t just leave the store when Crazy Old Geezer approached – what would have been the wisest course of action, after he threatened to shut her child up for her?

    (Taking into account legal repercussions, not just protective instincts, if possible.)

    • Dominique,

      Every available account of the story says that the old man made the threat, then immediately picked up the child and started slapping.

      Her wisest course of action to prevent her child from getting slapped would have been to have a mental threat assessment program running and the means to forcibly end that threat.

      Period.

      tweaker

    • MarkHB says:

      Dominique’s is an interesting question; which is the bigger legal risk? Punching someone who’s threatening your kid, or pointing a gun in his face? Brandishing a deadly weapon’s quite a big deal, but you haven’t actually hurt anyone – yet.

      This one I’d be very interested to hear the thinking on.

      • Rick R. says:

        I think brandishing in the face of creepy guy merely threatening to shut your kid up without issuing a verbal warning to stand clear might be a problem.

        Physically assualting him at that point almost certainly.

        However, shouting in a decisive command voice, “BACK AWAY and do not threaten my child again! Keep your distance!”, while getting into your ready stance gets the hint across. Again, if he doesn’t IMMEDIATELY back down, then draw on him — he has demonstrated an aggressive unreasonableness and willingness to press his attack.

  34. steve in CA says:

    Tweaker, The accounts say that he warned the lady and then attacked the child when they were in a different aisle of the store, indicating a period of time between the threat and the assault. I submit he followed her around until he got angry enough to act. She should have gone to a security guard immediately to report the threat.

    • Rick R. says:

      True.

      Unless he pressed the issue before she found the security guard.

      I couldn;t tell you the last time I saw a security guard in a Wal-Mart, and when I did he was either walking a sholifter out of the office or standing at the front door — a LONG way from the majority of the store.

      Yes, it’s best to try an involve an armed authority if you can, but relying on someone else to save you and your child is a bad choice.

    • My bad. The linked story does say that it was a few moments later.

      Just the same, it doesn’t say where she was or what she was doing when he grabbed her kid. She may have been on her way to find a guard or manager or what-have-you.

      That being said, in my earlier comment I had mentioned that I’d be reaching for (not brandishing) my firearm at the threat. I agree that a solid, unmistakable warning would be warranted if he made the remark and didn’t immediately reach for the kid. But, me being me, we’re probably not talking about an official-sounding warning. (I’m thinking something more along the lines of, “If you so much as reach for my kid I will kill you where you stand,” and that statement would be followed as immediately as possible by a call to the police and an exit of the area, likely to the manager’s office or out of the store altogether; your results may vary).

      Also, like I said, she may have been on the way to find help. I don’t want to throw down unless there is no other course of action, but if I find myself face-to-face with the guy again and he moves toward my kid, he’s going down. I’m not a psychic, either. I’ll take my chances with the District Attorney’s Office before I take my chances with my kid ANY-FRICKIN-DAY.

      tweaker

  35. Caleb says:

    I have been thinking about this for a couple of days, and have come to the conclusion that if a stranger were to grab my child, I would most assuredly draw my firearm. It’s like pdb said, I’m not a psychic. In Indiana, deadly force is legally justified to “prevent a forcible felony”, which covers slapping a child, and additionally, I have no idea if this guy is going to hit my kid, stomp my kid, or try to run off with my kid.

    So yeah, after some thought, I’d draw down in this situation. No macho “I’d punch the guy” bullcrap.

    • Rick R. says:

      Agreed. Getting into a physical contact scuffle adds to the chances of the kid being injured, unless you literally have no other choice.

      Of course, if you don’t have a firearm, well, you gotta do what you gotta do.

      Because you do not KNOW if this guy is going to kill, kidnap, or severely injure your child. He could end up killing or severely injuring the kid even if he only “intended” to “punish” them.

      I don’t care if my daughter is screaming obscenities like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. Attack my child, and I will defend my child.

      If you absolutely MUST slap someone over my child’s behavior, it’s safer for you to hit ME. It’s still not safe for the aggressor, but it’s not an imminent and unmistakeable threat of death for my child.

  36. Nick says:

    You know, I’m not particularly fond of children. I don’t plan on having any. And I often think that parents fail to discipline/remove their children when it should be common courtesy (movie theaters, nice restaurants, etc). But I would never, ever, take it upon myself to discipline, especially by force, another person’s child–particularly since it’s not the child’s fault anyway; in the instances where it’s a problem, it’s pretty much always ther parent’s fault.

    • Scott says:

      I’m with Nick. I knew by the time I was 16 I didn’t want kids and now at 46 I still don’t but I would never ever touch someone else’s kid as it’s not my job. If the child is too damn annoying I’ll leave.

  37. Ride Fast says:

    […] This incident surprises me […]

  38. naamah says:

    dead.

    he would be dead.

    decoratively.

  39. john b says:

    The two situations outlined have happened in my life. I have intervened to stop someone striking a stranger’s child. Relished telling the cops the full story to get the guy locked up. He threatened me, and the cops offered to tell a jail full of daddys what he had done. I so wanted the cops to let him go so I could respond properly to his threat.

    I also traveled to a high school I attended. Walked into the principal’s office, took his paddle of the wall, had him follow me to wood shop. I apologized in advance to the shop teacher. Then I tossed the paddle in the forge, and let it burn. I then told him if he ever laid hands on my girlfriend’s daughter again, I’d beat him exactly 95 percent to death, and then the courts would place him on a sex offenders list.

    As I left the school, it occurred to me. I hadn’t told him who my girlfriend or her daughter was. Essentially I had just protected the female population from corporal punishment.

    Yes! I’m that confident he never touched a girl under 18 ever again…

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