Police: Stranger spanks toddler in checkout line

- A toddler’s plea to his father for a candy bar in a grocery store checkout line ended with a total stranger smacking the child’s hand and paddling his bottom, according to police.

Logan Morris, the boy’s father, told FOX 5 News he was in shock and that it wasn’t as if his child was even acting up or being insistent.

“He was saying, ‘Please Dad, I want a piece of candy,’” Morris said. The father went on to describe his son as being normally well-disciplined for a toddler.

Newnan Police arrested 62-year-old Juan G. Martinez on charges of simple battery, interfering with an officer, and disorderly conduct. Police body camera video released to FOX 5 News appears to show Martinez swearing at the officers and refusing their commands to put his hands behind him so that they could cuff him. Eventually, after about a two-minute struggle and bringing him to the ground, officers placed the handcuffs on Martinez.

Morris said Martinez smelled strongly of alcohol. After the spanking, Morris said Martinez told him, “That’s how we do it in Mexico.” Morris said he replied, “We are not in Mexico.”

Morris said the man then tried to buy his son some candy after hitting him on the buttocks three times, but he told Martinez “No.”

“My motivation at that time was to just get my family safely to the car,” Morris said.

A spokesperson for the Newnan Police Department said that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was not involved in the case yet, but it would be reviewed.

Morris praised the checkout clerk and manager at Kroger for both stepping in to stop Martinez from further action and for calling the police.

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