Yeah, I wish I was making this up:
Look, I work retail. Which means I'm exposed to hundreds of screaming children every day (don't even get me started on what goes on during the holidays). I hear all sorts of cries, from babies squalling, to bratty children incensed because their parents had the audacity to deny them a toy or piece of candy. I get to the point where when I hear a child screaming, I head for some other part of the store just to get away from the noise for a minute.
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – Police say a 61-year-old man annoyed with a crying 2-year-old girl at a Walmart slapped the child several times after warning the toddler's mother to keep her quiet.
A police report says after the stranger hit the girl at least four times, he said: "See, I told you I would shut her up."
Roger Stephens ofis charged with felony cruelty to children. It was unclear if he had an attorney and a telephone call to his home Wednesday was unanswered.
Authorities say the girl and her mother were shopping Monday when the toddler began crying. The police report says Stephens approached the mother and said, "If you don't shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you."
Authorities say after Stephens slapped the girl, she began screaming. [reproduced in full]
But seriously, this man had no right to touch another person's child. No amount of irritation gives him the right to assault a child. His actions have no merit--I don't care what that child was crying about, I don't care how awful the mother seems to be (personally, I think ignoring the crying is best, seeing as most of the time the child is using that to get a reaction--any reaction--and for the parent to respond in a manner that will silence the child (even if that means giving it what it wants) accomplishes nothing except that the child will continue to act out)). It's not up to this man to parent someone else's kid, and he had no business laying a hand to the child, especially not repeatedly.