A convenience store surveillance video captured a case of child abuse that resulted in the arrest of a 23-year-old man. The video shows a toddler running through the aisle of Vest Market in downtown Bakersfield. A man pursued the boy down the aisle as the boy held his arms out in a defensive gesture. The man is then seen punching the child in the face. The force of the blow sent the child sprawling on the floor.
The man picked the boy up by his arm and pushed him toward a heavily pregnant woman who took the child’s hand and walked out of the store with him. The shocking video caught the attention of the police when it was uploaded to Facebook on Thursday.
Police arrested 23-year-old Justin Whittington and charged him with child endangerment and is being held on $1 million bond. He is being held in the Kern County jail. The pregnant woman is the boy’s mother. It is unknown if the mother was also arrested.
Any man (and I use the term loosely) who raises his fist to punch a child in the face in public should have his parental rights terminated permanently. There is no excuse for assaulting your own child under the guise of punishment.
Click the image below to watch the disturbing video on another site.
Justin Whittington was arrested early Friday morning after the owner of Vest Market in Bakersfield uploaded the shocking video to Facebook.com on Thursday.
“That was horrible, man,” store owner Harry Dindral told the NY Daily News. “The worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
Dindral said he didn’t witness the child abuse in his store. He said an employee ran into the back room where he was working and told him to view the video of the incident.
Whittington is being held in Kern County jail on a charge of felony assault of a child. His first hearing is on Monday, April 13.
The child is seen holding his face and bawling as the mother walked him out of the store.
Police tracked down Whittington at his home after the video went viral online.
The boy was evaluated by medical professionals and he was determined to have no injuries.
He was left at the Whittington home in the care of his mother, Crystal Rhoden Whittington.
Outraged Facebook users flooded the couple’s social media pages with comments. Crystal Whittington left a message of support for her locked up husband on the couple’s joint Facebook page (see above).
In one Facebook post — which she later deleted — she wrote, “The police want to interview me… Funny, I didn’t even remember applying for a job there!”