BAXLEY, GA (WCMH) — Two people seen on video attacking a Georgia food stand owner and her daughter have surrendered to police.
Almost two weeks ago, the suspects were caught on video beating restaurant owner Jeanette Norris and her daughter at the Qwik Chik restaurant in Baxley. This week, a police detective told Norris that Eric and Latasha Smith turned themselves in to police to answer charges of battery and child cruelty.
“I started crying when she called. It’s been an emotional day. It’s been a very good day. Very good day. But it brings it all back.”
The attack happened when the couple complained about receiving cold chicken. After a few minutes of back-and-forth, Norris said she refunded their money, but it wasn’t enough.
Norris went outside to tell the couple that she had called the police and that they would be there shortly, and that’s when the female customer started punching and slapping Norris in the face.
Norris’s daughter got out of a truck to help her mother, and the male customer punched the teenager in the face.
“I think the main reason it went viral as it did was when he hit her,” Norris said. “Thank God we have the video, because otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to find out who they were and track them down.”
Baxley’s police chief, James Godfrey, said he worried someone else could have been hurt by mistaken identity.
“I was really afraid that innocent people were going to get hurt somehow some way because people were already starting to call in. We were flooded with phone calls of they were sighted here, they were sighted there,” he said.
Norris said the arrest alone doesn’t ease any nerves.
“Somebody said to me, ‘maybe you’ll sleep better tonight,'” she said. “I think that’s going to be a while because all I see is him hitting her.”