Update: Police say man slapped and threw young child to the floor at Walmart

Posted at: 05/24/2013 5:01 PM
Updated at: 05/24/2013 5:12 PM
By: Lynetter Adams

Imagine walking into a store and seeing an adult slap and throw a seven-year-old child to the ground. That's what state police say happened at the Walmart in Batavia on Thursday.

Police have charged 28-year-old Christopher Cummings of Warsaw. He is a father of three. Police say it was a photo from a Walmart surveillance camera that helped identify and capture him.

This incident was so upsetting to people in the store, they called police and reported what they saw!

In a statement to police, Cummings says he was in the toy department with the seven-year-old and two other boys. He says two of the children, including the seven year old, were trying to open the packaging on toys and were told not to. He says when the seven year old opened a pack of cards and argued that he didn't open them, Cummings says, “That’s when I slapped him. I think with my right hand, pretty sure.” He goes on to say, “He started crying a little. He kept arguing about the cards. That's when I picked him up and slammed him down."

Police say that's what crossed the line. Mary Whittier, Executive Director of the Bivona Child
Advocacy Center says she is pleased people came to the child's rescue. So often she says people do not want to get involved. “This is a seven year old. We’re willing to step up if someone saw a dog being kicked, a dog being put in a car in extreme hear, someone not feeding an animal. We’re going to put an animal over children.”

New York State Police Investigator Scott Mills said, “When you take a kid and pick him up and slam him down, that goes way beyond any type of discipline.”

State Police put Cummings’ face on a web-based online news site and asking people for help to identify him. Mills says police received numerous calls. He credits this with helping police apprehend Cummings.

What do you do if you see something like this happen? Police say you should report incidents like this but not necessarily get physically involved. Whittier of the Bivona Child Advocacy Center disagrees. While she says you should not put yourself in harms way, she says adults should stop violence towards a child if they see it happening.