Recently I posted about moving and staying with my mother in my hometown for a few weeks. What I didn't write about was an incident while grocery shopping at the local Walmart where an old man slapped and kicked my 4-year-old.
Yes, you read that right. Some stranger lurking in the checkout line behind us slapped my son across his head and then kicked him in the butt to move him along. It was 2:00 in the afternoon and Stella was crying in the buggy, exhausted and ready for nap, while Cole stood beside me playing with the toys while I loaded groceries. Admittedly flustered, I saw only the white orthopedic shoe hit my son's rear as I was turning to take his hand, and my first thought was to pull my son into the safety of my own arms, which I did immediately. My second thought was, did that really just happen?
I drove to my mom's house shaking with disbelief and anger at that man and guilt that I didn't speak or act in the moment. How could I let this go? I sobbed to my mother, who seethed with rage for her grandson and demanded I call the police immediately.
After reporting it at the police station, I received a phone call from the PD, who had the surveillance footage tape from the store. As my husband and I watched it, we both gasped and cursed out loud when we saw that man's hand make contact with Cole's head. My sweet little boy turned around to look him in the face, like why did you just do that? He held up his toy to show the man how it worked...my eyes blurred and the rage came back. And then the officer actually asked us if we wanted to press charges, because it didn't look like a real slap, just like he was trying to get Cole to move. Are you kidding?! "If I did that to an adult in the store, I'd be charged with assault, right?" Kevin asked the officer. He responded with a firm yes. Which is exactly why we are proceeding, we said.
Weeks pass. We're back in Texas, and I find out through Facebook that the city prosecutor - who I'm friends with and dated for a year when I was 16 - had recused himself from the case. The police station knows of the report but has been unable to locate the suspect despite the fact many officers AND the prosecutor KNOW him.
To be continued....