A man was caught on video punching a toddler in the mouth Thursday afternoon and was arrested later that night after the video went viral.
In the video, the toddler can be seen running from a man who catches him and punches him in the mouth so hard he falls down. After punching him, the man picks up the toddler, flips him around, and hands him to a woman, who walks him out of the store. The toddler is seen holding his face as he leaves the store.
The surveillance video of the toddler being punched in the face was taken inside Vest Market in downtown Bakersfield, California, and was posted to Facebook Thursday afternoon, where it was seen by hundreds.
A male voice can be heard on the video criticizing the man for punching the toddler.
“OK this is the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen, this little kid getting knocked out by his dad.”
The police were notified of the video after it surfaced online, and they asked for the public’s help in finding the man who punched the toddler in the face.
Local tattoo artist Chris Danaher contacted 23 ABC News, which also circulated the video on the air.
By midnight, the man who was caught on video punching the toddler, 23-year-old Justin Whittington, was in police custody.
He was confronted at his home and arrested on charges of child endangerment and booked into Kern County jail with bail set at $1 million. His next court date is set for Monday, April 13, according to the Bakersfield Californian.
Paramedics examined the toddler at his house and decided he was healthy enough to be left there.
After the video of the toddler being punched in the face was posted online, it was shared thousands of times and garnered several angry comments from viewers, with many people questioning how the pregnant woman in the video could act so unconcerned with the violence.
The Facebook account credited to Justin N Crystal Whittington posted a picture of the toddler wearing sunglasses with the caption, “Feelin like a father again it’s a feeling you can’t replicate or fake.”
Meanwhile, several people praised Danaher for posting the video online, calling him a hero.
This isn’t the first time child abuse has been caught on tape. In Kentucky, a schoolteacher was caught on video dragging one of her students across the floor, according to the Inquisitr.
The teacher Ashley Silas was fired from the Brooks Elementary School in Bullitt County for the October 29 incident but was later rehired after the decision to terminate her was overturned by a review panel.
Child abuse and endangerment are a growing concern in America. Anyone with information relating to child abuse is encouraged to call the national hotline at 1-800-799-7233.