Suspect In Videotaped Beating Of Mother In Salem County Surrenders To Police
SALEM, N.J. (CBS) — A woman accused of attacking a mother in front of her two-year-old son in New Jersey is in police custody.
The suspect, identified by the Salem City Police Department as 25-year-old Latia Harris, turned herself in around 7 p.m. Monday following an extensive search for her whereabouts.
Salem City Police Department partnered with the New Jersey State Police Fugitive Unit and the United States Marshall’s New Jersey/New York Regional Fugitive Task-force in an effort to locate Harris.
The attack happened July 24th in the city of Salem and video of the assault was later posted on Facebook (See Previous Story).
In the video, a woman wearing a McDonald’s uniform is shown attacking another woman.
The victim, identified as 27-year-old Catherine Ferreira, falls to the ground and while on the ground, the suspect punches her approximately 20 times.
As the attack is going on, the victim’s toddler son is seen pleading for the suspect to stop and tries to kick the suspect in an attempt to make her stop.
At one point during the video, the suspect can be heard saying: “You better get your son before I kick him in the face too!”
“I could have been dead right now had she hit me in the right spot. It would have been over, over nothing. McDonald’s isn’t worth it, a guy isn’t worth it. This is more serious than you’re even comprehending,” said Ferreira.
On her two-year-old son fighting Harris and being the only one to try to intervene she says: “After that, I became so much closer to my son because he didn’t care what was going on. He wasn’t afraid, he just wanted to defend his mom. That’s my world right there, I love that boy so much.”
At the end of the video, the suspect appears to spit on the victim as she lays helplessly on the ground.
Adding to the shock factor of the video is that several bystanders do not intervene and instead take out their cell phones and record the attack.
Police say as Harris walked away, she asked those recording to not post the video on social media.
Police were able to obtain a video of the attack off of Facebook before it was deleted.
Harris was employed at a nearby McDonald’s.
The victim told police that Harris accused her of spreading rumors about her and her manager at McDonald’s.
McDonald’s owner Jim Burglaga released the following statement regarding the incident: “I am aware of the incident involving one of my employees earlier this week. I am extremely disturbed by this kind of behavior and it goes against the values and standards that I expect from my employees in my restaurants. This employee will not be serving customers pending this important police investigation and I’m fully cooperating with the local police in this matter.”
Harris will be lodged in the Salem County Correctional Facility in default of $35,000 full bail.
Police say there is a no contact order in effect between Harris and the victim.
Harris faces several charges, including aggravated assault.
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