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Man Slaps Stranger's Kid in Wal-Mart

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Imagine this for a shopping nightmare: Your 2-year-old throws a tantrum at Wal-Mart, and a strange man walks up to her and slaps her across the face to shut her up.

Roger Stephens

Ronda Kaysen: This happened to a Georgia mom on Monday. Sonya Mathews' daughter, Paige, was crying in the store when 61-year-old Roger Stephens told Mathews that if she didn't make her kid stop crying, he would. When little Paige continued to cry, he walked up to her and slapped her across the face several times. After he did it, he told Mathews, "See, I told you I would shut her up."

Mathews screamed at him and called for security. Another shopper stopped him. He was arrested and charged with cruelty to a child, a felony, and is being held without bail. Paige suffered no injuries, except for some redness in the face. Of course, that says nothing of the psychological injuries she might have experienced.

Can you imagine this happening to your kid? I wonder how Mathews explained such a terrifying act of violence to a child so young. It sends chills down my mommy-spine.



next: Jon Gosselin Says He Was 'Abused'
149 comments so far | Post a comment now
HeeHee September 2, 2009, 6:57 PM

kk: you’re going to be old some day Would you like it if everybody thought you were crazy?

Kelly September 2, 2009, 7:00 PM

I’m curious to know what kind of upbringing the people on this post have had if they are advocating child abuse.
This man was a complete stranger and in a public place he decides to start smacking a child. Can you imagine the abuse that he must have inflicted on his own family (if he has one).

kathy September 2, 2009, 8:20 PM

Lock this moran up and throw away the key Im glad i wasnt there i would have picked up something and knocked his head off

jennifer angstmom.com September 2, 2009, 9:21 PM

why did this mom let this strange man abuse her child? perhaps she is the neglectful one- even a cat will drag her kittens out of a burning building. if a person EVER attempted to put their hands on my child, they would not live to tell about it. but i am a proud mama bear and NOBODY messes with my cubs.

Alisha September 2, 2009, 9:33 PM

I wonder if the man who did this has grandchildren. I bet he would not like it if a stranger slapped his grandchild across the face. I am always understanding of parents that have young kids. Sometimes there is nothing really they can do to calm them down. I feel like this: If a child’s behavior is really bothering me that much, then I just leave and go to another part of the store. Walmart is pretty big. There are other places that I can go.

MICHELLE  September 2, 2009, 10:26 PM

I’M A PARENT OF 2 BOYS & I RAN A FAMILY CHILD CARE FOR 10 YRS. TEMPER TANTRUMS ARE A NORMAL PART OF DEVELOPMENT AT THAT AGE. I HAVE STEPPED RIGHT OVER OR AROUND A TANTRUM THROWING CHILD THEN LOOKED AT THE MOM AND GAVE THEM MY SUPPORT. DON’T GIVE IN OR THEY WIN! OR YOU WILL HAVE A 7-8 YR. OLD THROWING THE TANTRUM. I HAVE NO PROBLEM UNDERSTANDING THE FRUSTRATION OF THE PARENT & THE CHILD. BUT THERE IS NO WAY A STRANGER SHOULD EVER LAY A HAND ON SOMEONE ELSES CHILD. YES SOME CHILDREN NEED TO BE TOUGHT HOW TO BEHAVE IN PUBLIC BUT IT TAKES TIME & PATIENTS. NO CHILD OR PARENT IS PERFECT. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH PARENTS OR CHILDREN..SHOP ON-LINE!!!
SHAME ON YOU PEOPLE WHO ARE BLAMING THE MOTHER.

K&C's mom September 2, 2009, 11:29 PM

It is rediculus to blame the mom or the child!!! It is plain and simple, that man had NO RIGHT to lay a hand on that poor baby!!!!!!! I have 2 childern, but 9 nieces and nephews, it’s a part of life!!! You can’t even threaten your kids in public any more!!! It is insentitive to blame the mom or the child, we need to support each other, not blame!!!!!

Kay September 3, 2009, 12:30 AM

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him”

I strongly believe in “correcting” your child and hate hearing crying kids but that is up to me to do not some strange man..she should have picked up a hammer and busted him in the head with it..As soon as he gave the warning about what he was gonna do we would have had words..i am sure the mom was in shock but dam..i would be in jail right now..

PlumbLucky September 3, 2009, 5:52 AM

re: “how did he get close enough”. I haven’t seen a picture of the Mom in question (I refuse to watch the video simply because my blood is boiling right now over this)…this nimrod looks to be quite the large man. I have no qualms stating that I would put the smack down on him should he (or anyone, really, in similar circumstance) lay a finger on my child. But I’m six feet tall and I kickbox. Would I have this response if I were a diminutive (sp?) woman of five feet and not as athletic as I happen to be? I cannot say.

Shelly Hudson September 3, 2009, 6:23 AM

I can’t believe I’m reading that some of you on here believe that a grown 69 year old man has the right or even the responsiblity to slap a defensless 2 year old child IN THE FACE. What has this world come to that we can’t be inconvenienced in public by a child screaming but we get to listen to ever sordid detail of someone’s life as they talk on their cell phones. We get to hear a store employee being told off but a screaming 2 year old wanting to have their way and not getting it so they cry PISSES US OFF? Seriously people how many of the posters that are upset about kids crying in public actually HAVE KIDS? I have two older children ages 23 and 19 and a 3 year old toddler and when they are in public I tell them that throwing a tantrum won’t get what they want. They eventually grow out of it and try other tactics. ITS PART OF LIFE PEOPLE. Its not bad parenting. I would have been arrested for ADULT assault because that man woulda gotten my fist in his face.. not open handed mind you.

shoop101 September 3, 2009, 7:03 AM

Yes this guy is a psychopath and chances are he has a history of lashing out that is not documented. He deserves to go to jail. That being said, I believe that somewhere in the ballpark of 9 out 10 people should not be parents. They lack the selflessness necessary to truly commit to raising a child and society suffers because of it. What happened to children are meant to be seen and not heard? Instant Gratification Parenting Disorder(IGPD): parents pacifying situations by giving in. Oblivious Parenting Disorder (OPD): parents tuning out their children. Both parenting techniques leave out structure, discipline, and support which only further promotes the fictitious man made symptoms of ADD and ADHD. Become better parents. If you are not ready to be a parent, do not try to convince yourself that you are, it’s like going into marriage assuming a spouse will change…they won’t and neither will you. There are plenty of selfless people waiting in line to adopt. Don’t be selfish.

Shelly Hudson September 3, 2009, 8:00 AM

This is just me being a parent but I’m thinking if the child was crying in the store she was either tired or wanting something mom wasn’t letting her have. BOTH very typical things for a toddler in development. Shoop101 I don’t see that as lack of parenting. I see that as not giving into the demands of a child. Which is exactly what parents are to do. Also in public there is never the right answer to disciplining your child. As a parent your damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Usually by the people who haven’t been blessed with children trying to tell you how to raise yours. I’ve been a parent for 23 years and I have two very grown and capable adult children and one toddler and alot of expertise in making them behave but that being said.. they will still throw a fit because THAT’S WHAT KIDS DO.

JJ September 3, 2009, 8:20 AM

Kids need to be Spanked more and Spanked hard. Discipline needs to be driven home. Sad that today’s parents have grown up without discipline themselves. However, a stranger should not have slapped the child. Long-term emotional damage to the child is a joke.

catalyst September 3, 2009, 8:25 AM

What is wrong with all of you blaming the mother and the child? Do you have any idea of the situation that made the child cry? Seen, but not heard, please people get in the proper century. I hope none of you ever have to deal with a child that cries or is upset over what you view as nothing. Obviously it is something to them, but to you that doesn’t matter, don’t be selfish.

momao4 September 3, 2009, 9:49 AM

First of all, he would never have got that close to my kid….and if he still tried or somehoow did, I would not have hesitated to lay his old but out!!!

kaylar September 3, 2009, 9:55 AM

I can’t condemn this guy. Firstly, my kids knew they would be hit if they got on with antics. By merely pinching their shoulder and telling them I would ‘kill’ them when they got home, they instantly behaved.

Too many so called parents raise their children without any discipline, making them believe they are the centre of the universe, and then ship them to schools where they get on with antics. Often the first discipline they get is from the Court.

I can understand the mother’s feeling of encroachment on her territory and the Court’s attitude, for in truth, the Mother should have disciplined the child at home so that it doesn’t act this way in public

Kathy  September 3, 2009, 10:02 AM

Let’s put it this way. If it had happened to me, I can promise you I would be out of jail before that man was released from the hospital.

momao4 September 3, 2009, 10:08 AM

Okay…..All of you who say it is great or right that this man did this and are supposedly mothers DO NOT DESERVE TO HAVE KIDS!!! Do you treat your children this way? Seriously, a 2 yr old? I hope someone reports all of you idiots. Your children have horrible examples for mothers!! How about the next time you are in public and you do something that bothers someone they slap you across the face? Maybe everyone else will think you deserve it so it’s okay, right? A 2 yr old is a defenseless and helpless child who should not be punished or held responsible for their parents shortcomings. Obviously, those of you who are giving kudos to this guy had some kind of screwy upbringing to think that this is okay! Just beccause your mamma slapped you lunatics around and maybe let other people do it to does not make it alright. I am truly sorry for your kids and praying for their safety. I think maybe some of you need to seek out Dr Phil.

Mean Mom President September 3, 2009, 10:10 AM

First, if anyone slapped my child, he’d be on the floor! Then after I kicked him a couple of times, I would’ve called security. That’s my kid!

OK, Now that I’m calmed down & mother tiger has retreated, a couple of points:

If this child is crying, there is a reason & mom needs to deal with that. I feel for kids being dragged through overwhelming places like that, often tired & hungry because mom wants to get that shopping done now. I stopped shopping trips if my kids got tired & cranky. Yes, it was inconvenient but that’s what parenting is about. The first rule in my book talks about using a support network as a parent so you can get the things done that you need to do.

SarahBeth8585 September 3, 2009, 10:11 AM

Someone would have to hold me back, I would have taken that old fool down. Yes, it’s annoying when kids act like brats in public. But they are KIDS thats what they do. That doesn’t give that old jerk a reason to put his hands on a child. The previous posters are just plain lying if they say their kids never acted up in public.


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