In Villa Rica, Georgia, a White man has been arrested and charged with assault, battery, cruelty to children, and disorderly conduct after he allegedly beat a Black teen with a belt because he didn’t like the teen’s use of profanity.
“I was just panicked. I could not believe that in 2021 a fully grown man would think that it was OK to come outside with a belt,” Latika Sim told 11 Alive of the incident involving her 15-year-old son Maliyk and their neighbor, 29-year-old Matt Martel. “When you see the video, he is running full speed at him and he’s caught off guard.”
In the video, which appears to be taken from a security camera, Martel can be seen confronting Maliyk and then grabbing the teen by his shirt and forcing him back until the two are off-camera.
From 11 Alive:
“And he grabbed me with his hands around my neck. He threw me up against a garage and I hit my head,” said Malyik.
Malyik said he was in shock, but knew he didn’t want to get in trouble for fighting back.
“My son has played football, he has played every sport, he is fully capable of defending himself. But he knew he could not defend himself. So he walked away. He walked away and still this man is chasing him with a belt. So now I am in a full panic because my kids are unprotected,” said Sim.
She rushed over as fast as she could and called the police, but said she still can’t understand how this happened.
“I have worked in child care for 15 years,” Sim said. “I have had kids say crazy things to me, I have had them hit me, I have never once thought, let me take my belt off, and beat someone else’s kid. So even when he’s texting saying, he heard my son say a curse word, I do not care.”