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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
Susan February 6, 2010, 5:43 PM

Although the mom is the one who should be punished for raising a bratty child, I do hope the child remembers the incident. Seriously, maybe she won’t be as likely to throw a fit in the store the next time she doesn’t get her way. I have three children, now in their teens, but the one or two times they attempted a tantrum in public, they were immediately taken to the car for a good spanking. They quickly learned that whining and tantrums only lead to a sore bottom. More parents need to be stricter with their kids. I am so tired of hearing the whining, tantrum-throwing brats when I’m trying to check out of the grocery store. Parents, discipline your children! For those of you who say it’s natural and unavoidable for kids to throw tantrums, blah, blah blah…really? Why didn’t kids throw tantrums in stores, churches, etc. 50 or 60 years ago? Because they knew they’d get their butt paddled, that’s why!

Mike March 12, 2010, 7:24 AM

Then PARENT your child so others won’t have to. I get SICK of people who are too lazy or stupid to parent their own children and make everyone else suffer for it. I would never do what this guy did….but I can certainly sympathize with him. I might have even cheered for him.

The only “psychological scars” that child will experience is the knowledge that not everyone is a pushover like mommy.

Allison Sage March 16, 2010, 10:55 AM

Adults need to learn how to be adults. It is NEVER ok for a grown adult to slap a child like that. That poor little girl did NOT deserve to be hit by a complete stranger.. or anyone for that manner!
That being said, I live a child free life my choice and for good reason! Screaming children are irritating, headache inducing and disruptive. Couldn’t parents leave the store and let the other shoppers shop in peace!? You choose to have kids, so choose to take care of them and present yourself in a respectful manner! Yes, having worked in a daycare, 2 year olds will be 2 year olds, but a fussy baby is either a tired baby or a dissatisfied baby. Don’t try to get your kid to shut up. Be sensitive to your kid and to other adults trying to shop, eat, read or whatever in peace! Some of us really do enjoy our peaceful, lucrative child-free lives!

Tiff March 28, 2010, 7:32 PM

I’m 17 and as of now childless, but I used to work in my church’s nursery. I would NEVER dream of placing my hands on a random child like that and I think had that been my child I would not rest until that man was brought to his just desserts!

Someone with Logic June 4, 2010, 11:59 AM

As someone has already said, the fault lies with both the old man, and the mother. Nuff said.

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