Savannah police investigating after video surfaces of man striking child with belt

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)- Some social media users are shocked tonight after a video was posted of a man at a Savannah Walmart.

The video, shared on Facebook, shows a man striking a child multiple times with a belt a fight, then show altercation between the man and several witnesses.

At least two witnesses sent News 3 video of the incident; one shows the man striking the child, and the other shows him fighting with a witness .

“If anyone got a problem with me spanking my child, come see me,” the man said.

The disturbing scene that occurred at the Walmart Super Center on Abercorn Street stopped shoppers dead in their tracks.

“He was hitting the children not just on their bottom, but he was really landing the hits on the arm and actually a couple of times in the groin area,” Joseph McGowan, a witness said.

In the video the man, who later identifies himself by name on camera, has two children with him.

You can see them running through the store, then the man grabs one of the children by his coat and drags him towards the exit.

The woman recording, Gabrielle, spoke to News 3, but was too afraid to show her face on camera.

“All I can say is in the store when it happened, you would think someone paused time, ” Gabrielle said. “Everybody froze because we felt hopeless and nowadays what can we do.”

Like Gabrielle, McGowan too was afraid. After calling police, he began recording the man from the parking lot, where the man started yelling and cursing at bystanders.

“I have a daughter who’s three and a half she’s bad sometimes, but I couldn’t even imagine doing something like this,” McGowan said. “Beating her all over her body with a belt like this gentleman was doing to his children.”

McGowan said shortly after the man left, Savannah police arrived and took several witness’ statements.

News 3 asked McGowan if he wanted to see the man arrested.

“Yes, the officers indicated that that’s what they planned on doing,” McGowan said. “I don’t know whether or not they did, but I would hope so. When you injure someone else, and especially when you are in a caretaker role, it’s really, it’s a crime.”

At this time we do not know if that man has been arrested, but the Savannah Police Department said the incident will be looked into extensively.

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