Florida Woman Abuses 2yo Boy In Parking Lot Of Grocery Store, Deputies Say
A 60-year-old woman in Florida was arrested on Saturday after allegedly abusing a boy in the parking lot of a grocery store.
Marion County deputies responded to a local Aldi Supermarket after eyewitnesses contacted the sheriff’s office about the abuse.
According to deputy Steven Struble reports, Harold McSwain, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Ocala, was entering the Aldi Grocery Store at 7579 SW State Road 200 around 10:43 a.m. Saturday when he saw Cindy Wood lifted the child about one foot off the ground by his hair and strike him in the face with a closed fist.
The report states that when McSwain yelled at Wood, she told him to “go to hell.”
Reached by phone Monday, McSwain said he saw Wood “smack the child with a closed fist.” He said the response by at least one store employee and nearby people was the “best thing that could happen in a terrible situation.”
“We told her to stop,” he said. He stated Wood said “mind your own business” and left the area.
“Any adult seeing (the situation) would’ve reacted the same way. We just happened to be there,” McSwain said. He said “several” adults yelled at Wood.
A woman whose account is detailed in the report stated that she heard Wood “yelling at the child throughout the store” and in the checkout line. She said when she came out of the store she saw Wood “yelling at the child who, was sitting on the ground next to the car” and then saw her grab the child by his hair and “lift him off the ground until his feet were dangling.” She said she began to look for her phone and did not not see Wood strike the child.
Another witness told the deputy she saw the child held “off the ground by his hair” but did not see the child bring struck.
Deputies say that Wood drove away, but not before one of the eyewitnesses got her tag number and called law enforcement.
Deputies made contact with Wood at her home and placed her under arrest.
The boy was found in good health with the exception of a minor bruise on his cheek. Wood is being charged with one count of Child Abuse.
The Department of Children and Families will further investigate the matter.