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Mother caught on video slapping infant charged with 4 felonies

Aug. 01, 2012

By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel

Aug. 01, 2012 0

A 19-year-old Wauwatosa woman caught on video repeatedly slapping her infant daughter faces four felony counts of child abuse.

Chancline Babcock, who turns 20 on Thursday, hit the girl at home last Thursday, according to a criminal complaint, apparently unaware that the child's father had left a video camera running.

According to the complaint, which was released Wednesday:

Adonnis Cathey told police his 3-month-old daughter was cooing and laughing as he ran the camera at the family's apartment in the 1000 block of N. 68th St. He left the camera running as he went downstairs to make a phone call. When he returned, the child was screaming and crying like he had never seen before.

Cathey picked her up to calm her and wondered what had caused the crying. He checked the video camera and saw Babcock walk up and slap the girl hard on the face, then after about 30 seconds, slap her three more times.

He immediately called an aunt about coming to the hospital with him and the baby, whom he feared might be seriously injured. But when he returned to the apartment, it was locked. He broke in the door only to find Babcock had locked herself and the baby in the bedroom.

Cathey again broke down the door, and took his daughter.

Babcock told police she had been angry with the baby's crying and had "snapped."

Earlier this week, Babcock told WISN-TV (Channel 12) that she had nightmares in jail after she saw the videotape.

She has no prior record and was released from jail Tuesday on a $1,500 signature bond. She may not have contact with her daughter.

Babcock said she will take parenting and anger management classes and do whatever it takes to get her daughter back. She urged other stressed parents to seek help before they might resort to striking a child in frustration.

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About Bruce Vielmetti

Bruce Vielmetti writes about legal affairs.

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