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Stranger allegedly slaps crying child in store

  • Story Highlights
  • Roger Stephens, 61, is charged with first-degree cruelty to children
  • Authorities say he slapped a crying little girl in a Walmart store
  • The child's mother says she does not know the suspect
By Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer
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(CNN) -- A Georgia man allegedly slapped a toddler at a Walmart store because she wouldn't stop crying, authorities said.

Roger Stephens allegedly slapped a stranger's crying toddler in a Walmart store in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Roger Stephens allegedly slapped a stranger's crying toddler in a Walmart store in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Roger Stephens, 61, was arrested Monday and charged with first-degree cruelty to children. An incident report obtained from police in Gwinnett County indicated Stephens did not know the 2-year-old girl he stands accused of hitting.

The confrontation happened shortly before noon at the Walmart in Stone Mountain, a suburb of Atlanta.

According to the arresting officer, the child's mother said her daughter was crying as they walked down one of the aisles.

The mother said a stranger later identified as Stephens approached them and said, "If you don't shut the baby up, I will shut her up for you." Video Watch what the stranger said »

A few moments later, while the mother and the crying child were in another aisle, Stephens allegedly grabbed the girl and slapped her across the face.

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Police said he hit her four or five times. "See, I told you I would shut her up," the suspect allegedly told the mother.

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Authorities described "slight redness" to the toddler's face. Before he was arrested, Stephens apologized to the mother for striking the girl, the incident report said.

Stephens, a Stone Mountain resident, is being held by the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department.

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