A white Wichita, Kansas, man has been arrested and charged with battery for kicking a toddler over the Christmas holiday weekend.
The suspect, 31-year-old Riff Trace, kicked a 1-year-old Black boy in the back while yelling racial obscenities and insults. According to KWCH, Lashantai Whitaker and her son and daughter were shopping in a Dillons supermarket around 7:20 a.m. Sunday before the assault.
Wichita police were called after the man entered the store and attacked the child without a clear motive. International Business Times reports the family was only in the store for a short period of time.
"We were barely in the store, and [Trace] kicked him in his back," Whitaker told KWCH. "All I heard was a loud thud and my daughter screaming."
Trace assaulted the young boy and attempted to run away, but a fellow shopper tackled and pinned Trace down until officers arrived at the scene. Whitaker said her son hit the floor but did not sustain any injuries.
"Through the investigation, it was learned Trace walked into the Dillons store and kicked a 1-year-old victim in the back, causing the child to fall on the floor," police told the media.
Authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime. Trace was booked and charged with "battery that was bias and racially motivated." Although the suspect resisted arrest, he was taken into custody without physical harm, local reports state.
"What grown person, I mean, even if you do have that much hate for someone,... I mean, why would you attack a baby?" Whitaker told KWCH.Blavitize your inbox! Join our daily newsletter for fresh stories and breaking news.
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