Saturday 19 September 2020

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Cork Independent


Stranger spits in toddler’s face

Wednesday, 19th August, 2020 3:19pm

A father has described wiping saliva from his one year old son’s eyelids, nose, and mouth after the toddler was spat upon in the city.

The incident occurred on Mardyke Walk when the father, his wife and his son were returning from a day out in Fitzgerald’s Park.

As they neared the Sunday’s Well end of the Walk, an unknown youth leaned down and spat in the face of the toddler who was in his pram. “He was somewhere between ten and 13 years old, old enough to know that what he did was wrong,” the father told the Cork Independent. He added: “I considered slapping his face. We couldn’t believe it.”

According to the child’s father, the unknown boy was with another slightly younger boy. He said the two boys were accompanied by two men and an elderly woman walking a short distance behind them. “I could tell from the boy's reaction that he understood he was in severe trouble,” the father explained. Following the incident, one of the two men approached the toddler’s father at which point he explained to the man what had just happened.

“It was unclear if the man's attention was going to be shifted aggressively towards me or the boy,” he said.

He added: “Initially, my wife and I were shocked, then the anger came, then the hopelessness at failing to protect our son during this moment.”

The father of the toddler said that he feels the boy’s actions were a “means of acting out” and for seeking attention.

He said he and his wife were reluctant to involve the police and just wanted to get their son to safety as soon as possible.

As they exited Mardyke walk they told a father and his young daughter what had happened and warned them about the boy.

“We felt shock, disgust, anger and devastation in that order,” the father said.

“Children definitely fail to grasp the magnitude and the mortal consequences of this virus. Unfortunately, so do some adults and even world leaders.”

The toddler’s father said that although it was a traumatic experience for him and his family, they will still continue use the popular walkway.

“My wife and I take a major point of pride in not letting fear or uncertainty dictate our lives. Admittedly, my wife felt extreme reservations about going back there until she had enough time to get over the event,” he concluded.

A spokesperson for an Garda Síochána urged anyone who witnesses a crime, or is a victim of a crime themselves, to report it immediately.

“An Garda Síochána are here to help and have developed specialist units that allow us to deal with every incident in a standardised approach that is tailored to the victim’s needs,” said the spokesperson.

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