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Witnesses: Woman slapped baby on plane

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Police: Mom slaps baby on plane
  • Witnesses say they saw a woman slap her daughter on a flight
  • Woman said she struck the baby because she was kicked
  • The baby had a black eye, which the parents said was from a dog bite
  • The couple was released after a welfare check of the child

Read more on this story at CNN affiliate KRQE.

(CNN) -- Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, questioned a Georgia woman after witnesses said they saw her slap her 13-month-old child during a flight, according to police reports.

A flight attendant on a Southwest Airlines flight from Dallas, Texas, to Albuquerque told police she saw the woman "strike the child with an open hand on the face in an attempt to get the child to stop crying," a police report states. The flight attendant also said she saw the mother slapping the child on her legs.

The woman appeared "agitated," the flight attendant said, and the husband was yelling at his wife to shut up due to her screaming at the child, the report states.

During the flight, the flight attendant temporarily took the child from the mother so that the husband could exit his seat and take the child to the back of the plane to attempt to calm her down.

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The baby girl had a black eye, which the parents said was from a dog bite from an uncle's Great Dane, the report said.

Both parents were questioned by police and then released on their own recognizance after medical personnel examined the child for injuries. The family then boarded another flight.

Another passenger told police that they heard slaps, and the mother tell her daughter to "shut up" and that "I didn't hit you that hard."

Several passengers were upset by the behavior, the flight attendant told police.

According to the police report, the woman told officers she only slapped her child after she was kicked. And she said she put her finger on the child's mouth in an attempt to get her to be quiet.

Asked if she thought it was okay to hit a 13-month-old baby, the woman nodded to police and said, "She's my daughter," according to the police report.

The flight arrived in Albuquerque around 4:30 p.m. Monday.

In a statement Tuesday, Southwest said that, "The family was having an altercation and their young child was upset. Our flight attendant offered to hold the baby to soothe the child. Out of precaution for the child, Southwest asked that the local authorities meet the aircraft in Albuquerque."

CNN's Lisa Camp contributed to this report.