WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita mother is speaking out after her 1-year-old son was allegedly kicked by a man at a Dillons store at Douglas and Hillside.
“He’s really sweet, and he’s friendly,” said Lashantai Whitaker while looking at a picture of her son, Jhavii. “I just don’t know why someone would want to attack him.”
Whitaker said her son was attacked from behind.
“We were going into the grocery store,” said Whitaker. “My daughter she’s 11, she was walking my son holding his hand, they were behind me.”
Whitaker was getting a cart when her son was kicked.
“I heard a thud like a loud thud, and I’m thinking it’s something that fell off a shelf or something,” said Whitaker. “But my daughter started to scream, so I turned around, and she was picking my son off the ground. He was screaming to the top of his lungs.”
Police say the man who kicked her son was attempting to flee the scene, but a man who witnessed the incident stepped in.
“He had tackled him to the ground and held him there, and the other associates from Dillons came and helped hold him on the ground till the police came,” said Whitaker.
Trace Riff, 31, was arrested for allegedly kicking Whitaker’s toddler son in the back while yelling racial slurs.
“He was just referring to us as the N-word and just making it known that he was a white supremacist and repeatedly saying it over and over,” said Whitaker.
Trace was booked for battery that was bias and racially motivated and resisting arrest. Thankfully, her son was ok. No bruises or broken bones.
“The EMT’s were saying that they think his coat helped with saving him with the impact of the kick,” said Whitaker.
Whitaker says she’s still in shock.
“What person is sitting around at the Dillon’s waiting to attack children?” said Whitaker.
“It was hard to grasp that someone actually kicked a baby, and I was very upset. It’s like it just ruins your whole holiday,” said Yolanda Frierson, Jhavii’s grandmother.
Whitaker says Dillons management brought gifts to her son on Christmas Eve.
“They weren’t obligated to do all of that, so just showing a kind or nice gesture, it made a difference,” said Whitaker. “It makes the stress less because you have people you know supporting and caring about the situation as much as you do.”
“I’m hoping that they give him time, and it doesn’t happen to somebody else’s child,” said Whitaker.