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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
Liana September 5, 2009, 9:51 PM

I AM FURIOUS and APPALLED at ALL of YOU HORRENDOUS human beings that have posted that hitting this child was in ANY WAY okay! I pray to GOD that if you are parents that you WON’T be for long. And take note that the post says the child was CRYING NOT SCREAMING! And the next time you do or say something that another person doesn’t like or annoys them, I hope they HIT YOU! Then take note of how it makes you feel as an ADULT let alone a 2 YEAR OLD BABY!!

Randy September 6, 2009, 12:20 AM

Is shooting a child with a water gun illegal?

Landon September 6, 2009, 11:29 AM

I think children act the way they do because they have weak parents. They know they can push the limits because they know what they can and cannot get away with. Adults are the same way , they like to pride themselves in their abilty to excercise self control but take something from them or tell them no,they act the same way as a kid. I believe in control by fear and respect. I never questioned my father growing up or did anything in public that was “bad” because I was so scared to get in trouble. I think its time we put the fear back in people. When you have a kid , control them not because someone else might slap them or pop them in the mouth , but because you might. For those who dont like my methodes , sorry , its already been assesed that im 98% evil and a !@#hole so relax. For those who would say they would do something about it to me , you wont because realisticly ill sue you and live a comfortable life while you enjoy jail.

Alicks September 6, 2009, 12:52 PM


unknown September 6, 2009, 3:43 PM

I applaud the man. He did ask the mother to keep her quiet. So maybe a slap was a bit harsh, but its annoying to be in line especially at such a public place and to have a BRAT crying and crying and the MOTHER just ignoring them like its not even thier kid. As far as psychological damage, well what damage was the mother causing her by not tending to her needs. Hows that for DAMAGE!

Steph September 7, 2009, 12:25 AM

Maria, with the logic that you used for saying to keep your child in line, are you saying that you’d discipline a 4 month old or even a 1 year old like that man did simply because the child was crying?
If so, YOU need to be smacked around. It’s also stupid people like you who think you’re what’s RIGHT in this world, when really you aren’t as correct as you think you are.
Children get tired and they get miserable, just like everyone else does once in awhile. So we should just all go around slapping each other? Is that the solution to the problem?
A child cries so we should go slap it to get it to shut up?
Violence against a child simply because they are upset is not the solution.. but way to teach your child to hit someone when they are down.

Anonymous September 7, 2009, 12:32 AM

So are you saying that children that cry automatically make them brats?
That’s some great logic right there..
Children cry, and they don’t always have a reason behind it.
What that man did was wrong, and if he had such a problem with it, he should’ve left.
I hope he sits in jail, because he had NO right to touch that little girl in any way, regardless of her actions.
It’s not like she was hurting him any.
Stupid senile old bastard.

hahahaha September 7, 2009, 6:26 PM

That child deserved to be slapped and so did the mother. A two year old should know better and be taught better on how to behave in public. Brats like this don’t have “trauma” when being slapped or spanked they have a realization that maybe that type of behavior is not a good one.
Spanking your child is not cruelty it is a learning experience and has been since Biblical times. And this child should have been slapped long before this man arrived in wal-mart.

Anne September 9, 2009, 7:00 AM

Although I do not condone a stranger touching, let alone hitting, a child (or their own in a public setting) I do want to know if the mom was trying to quiet her child. I have 3 kids (grown now), but my girls are 1 1/2 years apart in age. I know I did not put up with my children having tantrums in the store and would leave if they started. I know that is not always possible, but being courteous to others is something people have seem to forgotten, especially in Walmart. It is as if Walmart attracts the worst of the worse.

Anonymous September 9, 2009, 8:47 AM

What I can’t get over is after having been threatened by a strange angry man, she stayed around. I would have kept my child closer to me and walked to another part of the store. I would never have stuck around and given him the chance to hurt my child. I have a hard time believing how she could stand there and let him walk up to her child, much less give him the chance to slap her “several” times. Why not find a store employee after the first threat and complain. I have had my share of screaming children, you cannot give in to them. But that does not give the stranger the right to “threaten” them or to “act upon it.”

LeatherNeck September 9, 2009, 8:03 PM

I would have been charged with kicking the living crap out of him if I was there, weather it was my child or not. And I do not think he has mental issues I just think he is a grumpy old man that thinks he is suppose to teach the younger people how its done, but what he doesn’t understand is that he got lucky there wasn’t someone there to put him in his place. I have a 3 month old daughter and if anyone ever hurt my child I would do anything to protect my child with every ounce of Marine left in me. Just my point…. 0311

K8 September 10, 2009, 7:15 AM

OH MI GOD! I would be in jail along with him, I can not even begin to imagine what i would do to someone if they even tried to lay a hand on my child. That is seriously messed up!

Anonymous September 12, 2009, 10:25 AM

Seriously, no one has the right to discipline another person’s child but parents need to go back to spanking and get the sticks out of their butts about abuse. Beating is one thing but a firm swat to teach them is not abuse. The child was fine and she got the point. I would never in a million years let another person hit my child, but I would have swatted her butt. I can guarentee you the child was probably screaming about some toy it wanted. I have seen plenty of mothers with well behaved toddlers in stores. I have even seen mothers with two years old asking why a child was acting that way. I know for a fact from stopping and asking and their children know it is not acceptable in public. He shouldnt be up on charges for abuse the mother should be up on charges for not stopping him and dealing with it herself.

Anonymous September 14, 2009, 5:11 PM


PostalDad September 14, 2009, 7:58 PM

As soon as the threat from that man was made, I would have taken action. There’s a saying, Don’t get in between a mother bear and her cub. I would have put that saying to shame. His comment was a threat of violence. Violence(of any kind) toward my or anyone’s child is a hostile act that will make me act to a point where that person can’t do what he insinuated. If that’s taking him down to the ground as fast as I can and holding him contorted until the police arrive, so be it. Faced with a hostile threat, I would have acted. That type of guy makes me sick!

Teresa Ramirez September 22, 2009, 12:07 PM

In the FIRST place my kid would not have been throwing a temper tantrum. I discipline my children. At 2 years old they knew better(at least mine do). I APPLAUD THIS MAN.

native girl September 25, 2009, 2:22 PM

That 2 year old is a baby. Kids should be taught how to behave in public.
No one has the right to discipline someone else’s child. That man should be arrested for child abuse, sent to prison, and let the prisoners take care of him. Prisoners don’t like child abusers.

Ray October 27, 2009, 3:05 PM

That guys my hero! I’d vote for the guy for president! Good thing I wasn’t atthat Wal-Mart, I would’ve pissed myself laughing!

nbr November 3, 2009, 9:49 PM

this information is helped to me a lot…..Thanks.

JT January 27, 2010, 9:48 AM

Interestingly, when I was 2, when I acted up, my parents simply took me to the bathroom, pulled my pants down, and popped me on the butt. We stayed in the restroom until I calmed down and then continued our day.
Their mindset was that, though inconvenient to their day, raising a well mannered , healthy and productive child was their main job.
Am I supporting Stephens? No. But do I understand his sentiment? Indubitably.
Too many times have we seen parents with screaming children, not just ignoring their child, but subjecting the rest of society to their ill parenting. Parents who reason and bribe their children, unsucessfully, to behave.
I am 30 years old and remember every spanking I recieved. All 10 in my entire life. And I deserved every one of them. Now? I wave to people who let me into traffic, I hold doors for people I don’t know, I speak low in nice restraunts and know when to cheer for my favorite teams. At every art opening I am in, I thank both my parents for being the most wonderful and beautiful people in my life. They earned my respect and showed me every moment of my life that they loved me.

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