The violent encounter occurred just after 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 4, at the intersection of West Summit Avenue and South Tryon Street.
The suspect, identified as Rico Williams, 26, struck the baby in the face with a closed fist, causing minor injuries, the police report stated.
According to authorities, the mother and her son were walking across the street. She was pushing her baby boy in a stroller when Williams walked up towards them, reportedly mumbling under his breath, and punched the infant in the face before running away.
The baby boy sustained injuries to the right side of his face. His eye is swollen and bruised, his right cheek is swollen, and he has an abrasion to the upper side of his lip. He was taken to Levine Children’s Hospital for treatment and has since been released.
The sister of the mother called 911 following the assault. Multiple people in the area witnessed the attack including an Uber driver who reportedly yelled, “Get that guy!”
Another witness, a DoorDash driver, reportedly followed Williams in their vehicle and was able to get out and hold him down with his foot at West 7Th Street as CMPD officers arrived at the scene to take him into custody. Police handcuffed Williams and placed him in a patrol vehicle. During Williams’ arrest, he was reportedly incoherent.
On Monday, prosecutors requested a $500,000 secured bond for Williams, stating he is a danger to society and committed a random act of violence.
Williams has no prior convictions but has a history of being arrested in Mecklenburg County on assault and trespassing charges.
Williams’ defense team on Monday said he suffers from mental health issues. Williams refused to make his initial court appearance Monday on camera due to the process reportedly ‘taking too long’ for him. His bond was increased to $125,000.
“Can’t have people out there running around and punching a 1-year-old. So, the court is going to be increasing the bond,” the judge said on Monday.
Williams is due in court next on August 10, 2023.