Mom punched, robbed at park; suspects sought

- The frantic 911 call a mother made just moments after police say she was attacked and robbed was released Friday. The woman's toddler can be heard screaming and crying in the background.

“We were about to leave and go to the car when he jumped back came up to me hit me in the face,” said the female victim during a call to 911.

The fear can be heard loud and clear from a mother calling 911 right after she says two men punched her and took her belongings in Winter Haven Thursday morning. What you can also hear is the panic from her frightened child.

“I was carrying my child when he knocked me over so my child fell but I don't think anything happened I think he just got scared,” the 911 caller said.

Winter Haven police explain the victim was playing with her 2-year-old inside a fenced area at Kiwanis Park.

She noticed two men in hoodies walk in, officials say she started feeling uncomfortable so she grabbed her toddler and started walking off. But police say the robbers had no intention of letting her get away.

“The one that walked up in front of her punched her right in the face and knocked her on the ground while she's holding her child,” said Chief Charles Bird.

Bird says the men got away with the woman's purse and he says there's no doubt she was targeted.

“We have witnesses that saw the truck moving around the park and different areas around the neighborhood,” he said. “These guys are just cowards they pick a mother and a child to try to victimize.”

Surveillance cameras caught the crooks at a cell phone store shortly after the attack. Police say they used the victim's credit card to buy phones. An enhanced view of one of the suspects gives a clear look at his face and police also say his shoes have a distinct style - with mesh over the top.

The mother and child did not suffer any serious injuries. If you have any information on the case, contact Winter Haven police.

Anyone who can identify the suspect is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.

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