BAXLEY, Georgia — Two people caught on camera attacking a Georgia food stand owner and her daughter have surrendered to police.
Jeanette Norris, the owner of the takeout stand where the brutal attack happened got word Wednesday morning, July 5th from a detective that Eric and Latasha Smith had turned themselves in on charges of battery and child cruelty.
“I started crying when she called. It’s been an emotional day. It’s been a very good day. Very good day — but it brings it all back,” Norris said.
The attack happened on June 22nd, and it was caught on camera.
Norris said two customers at her Quik Chik stand complained their food was cold. After a few minutes of back-and-forth, Norris said she refunded them.
“She went berserk. They both lost it, him and her both. Started cussing and beating on the window,” Norris said.
Norris came outside to tell them police were on the way, when the woman started punching and slapping her in the face. What Norris couldn’t see as she staggered back inside was her daughter getting out of the truck to help.
“One of my employees yelled, ‘He’s got her. He’s got her.’ And that’s when I realized he had hit her. Who does that? Who punches a child like she’s a grown man standing there? ” Norris said.
Even veteran officers, like Baxley, Georgia’s police chief said they’ve never seen an unprovoked attack like this.
“The camera surveillance footage that we put out tells it all! That’s just brutality,” Chief James Godfrey said.
“I think the main reason it went as viral as it did was when he hit her. Thank God we have the video, because otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to find out who they were and track them down,” Norris said.
Baxley’s police chief worried someone else could have gotten hurt by mistaken identity.
“I was really afraid that innocent people were going to get hurt somehow, some way, because people were already starting to call in. We were flooded with phone calls of ‘they were sighted here. They were sighted there,'” Baxley Police Chief James Godfrey said.
Norris said the arrest alone doesn’t ease any nerves.
“Somebody said to me ‘maybe you’ll sleep better tonight.’ I think that’s going to be a while because all I see is him hitting her,” Norris said.
Eric and Latasha Smith turned themselves in on Wednesday morning in Bryan County, Georgia, and they were then transferred to Appling County. It’s unclear when they’ll make their first court appearance.