In a crowd of cowards, a little boy fights for his mother

Posted: June 27, 2014

AS ONE WOMAN pummeled another woman's face in South Jersey on Tuesday night, a crowd of onlookers stood like zombies, some scrambling for their phones while others uttered brainless comments like "owwww"; as if they were watching fireworks on the Fourth of July.

One bystander recorded the whole thing near the Harvest Point Apartments in Salem and put it on Facebook, capturing each sickening thud of the suspect's fists and also filming the only person in a crowd of cowards who seemed to give a damn, the victim's 2-year-old son.

"Mommy," the toddler, still clutching a McDonald's bag, screams as the assailant repeatedly hammers his mother.

The little boy even tried to defend his mother, kicking at the attacker, identified by police as LaTia Harris. Harris, 25, of Salem, threatened to take him out, too.

"You better get your son before I kick him in the face, too," Harris yells at the victim.

Police in Salem, about 45 miles south of Philadelphia, are looking for Harris, who is facing charges of aggravated assault, terroristic threats and possibly more, Chief John Pelura III said. Her last known address at a Salem Housing Authority complex was vacant, he said.

Pelura said the video made him sick and it should make all of us sick, too, particularly the bystanders who watched the beating.

"Unfortunately, arrests aren't going to change anything long term. There is a moral and social breakdown in the fabric of our society which is clearly evident when a woman gets pummeled in broad daylight in front of her child while a dozen people pull out their phones to record the incident instead of calling for help," Pelura said in a statement. "There is so little regard for human life - by the actor and the bystanders."

Police found the victim, bloodied and suffering from limited vision in her left eye, after the attack. She told police a woman named "Tia" who works at McDonald's assaulted her and accused her of spreading rumors about her and her manager, Pelura said.

Harris hasn't shown up for work at McDonald's since the beating, Pelura said.

Anyone with information about Harris' whereabouts is asked to call the Salem Police Department at 856-935-0057.

On Twitter: @JasonNark

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