Woman beaten in front of her kid. Suspect at large.
After footage of a woman being attacked in front of a toddler surfaced on Facebook this week, police in New Jersey began searching for the female assailant who delivered the brutal beatdown.
Latia Harris, a 25-year-old McDonald’s worker, was named in a criminal complaint released Thursday that accused her of the aggravated assault depicted in the video, according to The Smoking Gun. Police in the city of Salem are currently searching for the suspect.
In the disturbing video, which has since been widely circulated on the Web, a woman is seen brutally beating another woman in front of a toddler and a group of bystanders. The young boy yells for his mother and kicks the attacker as she continues to hit, kick and spit on the victim. At one point, the assailant also threatens to kick the child in the face.
“Police in this county deal with this type of violence everyday. Yet, this video is physically sickening to watch,” Salem Police Chief John J. Pelura III said in a released statement.
Authorities say the attack took place along a path near the McDonald’s in Salem Tuesday night, according to local reports. When emergency services arrived at the scene, they discovered a woman lying on the ground, covered in blood. WPVI identified the victim as 27-year-old Catherine Ferreira, mother of a 2-year-old boy. Ferreira told the outlet that she suffered a mild concussion and broken nose in the assault.
After the victim was treated at a local hospital, she told authorities that a McDonald’s worker named “Tia” attacked her and “accused her of spreading rumors about her and her manager,” the South Jersey Times reports.
Police Chief Pelura rebuked witnesses for not taking action.
“There is a moral and social breakdown in the fabric of our society which is clearly evident when a woman gets pummeled in broad daylight in front of her child while a dozen people pull out their phones to record the incident instead of calling for help,” he said in the statement. “There is so little regard for human life – by the actor and the bystanders.“
Police say Harris has not reported to work since the June 24 incident. If apprehended, she faces three felony charges – one count of aggravated assault and two counts of making terroristic threats. Her bail has already been set at $35,000.