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Man Arrested for Kicking Toddler in Racially Motivated Attack

Mid West

Man Arrested for Kicking Toddler in Racially Motivated Attack

Wichita, KS – The Wichita Police Department says officers arrested a man, 31, and are investigating an incident described as a “racially motivated bias crime” that took place at a Dillons store.

Police took 31-year-old Riff Trace into custody for “battery that was bias and racially motivated” as well as resisting arrest.

Authorities say at about 7:20 a.m. Sunday, officers were dispatched to an assault call at the Dillons store in the 3000 block of East Douglas.

“Through the investigation, it was learned Trace walked into the Dillons store and kicked a 1-year-old victim in the back, causing the child to fall on the floor,” reports Wichita police.

Police say Trace did this while yelling obscenities and racial slurs. Officials say when officers got there, Riff “was being held on (the) ground by citizens.”

Lashantai Whitaker is the mother of the 1-year-old boy police say fell to the ground after being kicked by Trace. Wednesday, she spoke with Eyewitness News about what occurred early Sunday morning.

“We were barely in the store and (Trace) kicked him in his back,” Whitaker says. “All I heard was a loud thud and my daughter screaming.”

She says Trace tried to escape but another customer tackled him.

She says when Trace kicked her son, he came up behind them. She described it like “a sneak attack.”

She says her son did not sustain any serious injuries, but “he could have done serious damage.” Whitaker says she’s confused by what happened and hopes Trace does time for what he did.

“What grown person, I mean, even if you do have that much hate for someone,… I mean, why would you attack a baby?” Whitaker says.

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