An Overland Park, Kansas, mother says she was waiting in the checkout line at Walmart when a man she didn’t know walked up to her four-month-old daughter and started choking the baby, WDAF-TV (Kansas City) is reporting.
Quisha Hill said that she shops at a particular Walmart location in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, and early Wednesday morning was no different. At about 7:23 a.m., she was getting to pay for her groceries when the bizarre incident occurred.
“I come in to grab couple items, and as I while I was at the counter top, speaking with the lady and bagging up my groceries, this random man comes out of nowhere and yanks the car seat out of the cart, has my baby, and he’s like, ‘I’m taking the baby, I’m stealing her. I’m taking her. Call 911. Call 911.'”
The man then started choking the baby. Other shoppers heard Quisha’s screams and tackled the man, then held him to the floor until police arrived.
In the scuffle, Quisha was able to get her baby back.
“That’s when tons of Walmart workers come over to help me get her out. She is still restrained. As soon as they come over to get him, they body slam him down to the ground. He punches one of the security officers. And then that’s when we have the baby back.”
Hill says that man at one point tried to put the baby’s car seat on his head and wear it like a hat, according to Fox 6. She also said the man appeared to be intoxicated, and that he spoke a foreign language that she didn’t understand.
RT 41ActionNews “Police: Man arrested for choking 4-month-old infant at Walmart in Overland Park – … pic.twitter.com/R2oI9YGgFH“
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Overland Park police have arrested a suspect, but as of this writing, have not released his name or his mugshot. Neither have they confirmed whether or not he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.
Fortunately, the baby is going to be OK. Quisha said she turned red for a few seconds but was back to normal pretty quickly, and is no worse for wear. She is expected to make a full recovery.
In a statement, a Walmart spokesperson promised to cooperate fully with the police.
“Our main concern right now is for our customer and her child. We’re appalled this happened in our store, and we’re working with police to make sure they have all the information they need.”
In the overwhelming majority of child abuse cases, the perpetrator is close to the victim: a parent or relative, a caregiver, a teacher, or a member of the clergy. Incidents of strangers randomly attacking children and babies are exceptionally rare, but not unheard of.
One of the most tragic cases ever of an infant being assaulted by a stranger came out of Georgia in 2013. As CNN reported at the time, Sherry West was pushing her 13-month-old baby in a stroller when two youths approached her and demanded money.
“A boy approached me and told me he wanted my money, and I told him I didn’t have any money. And he said, ‘Give me your money or I’m going to kill you and I’m going to shoot your baby and kill your baby,’ and I said, ‘I don’t have any money,’ and ‘Don’t kill my baby.'”
West struggled with the youths over her purse, and eventually one of them fired his weapon. One shot grazed the woman’s head, another shot was fired at her leg, and a third shot was fired at the baby’s face, striking and killing him.
[Featured Image by Ken Wolter/Shutterstock]