Police in Bakersfield, California are searching for a man in a video, caught by a surveillance camera who punched his toddler in the face.
In one clip, Whittington grabs the boy by the leg, then lifting him several feet off the ground by the shirt and apparently yelling in his face.
The toddler, who appears to between 3 and 4 appears to be running and hiding from the man. When he notices the man running after him, he takes off to the end of an aisle, but the man is there to meet him.
Quickly pounding his fist into the toddler’s face, knocking him to the floor.
“That was horrible, man,” store owner Harry Dindral told the Daily News. “The worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
The child can be seen on the floor, crying from the blow. The man then yanks the child up by one arm, pushes him over towards a woman, presumably a mother, who grabs him by the hand. The woman appears to be pregnant and walks the child calmly out of the store.
The fact that even the woman isn’t disturbed by the man’s actions may indicate that this is quite normal of his actions.
While I am all for discipline of children, even in public, this is not that. This is assault, plain and simple.
The New York Daily News reports that the man has been arrested:
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Justin Whittington, 23, was arrested and charged with child endangerment after the startling footage from inside the Vest Market appeared online, police said.
Whittington is held in lieu of $1 million bail and is due in court Monday afternoon.
Medical personnel examined the child at his home but he did not need to be hospitalized, police said.