A mother took down a man who allegedly punched her 4-year-old son in the head in Times Square.
Rafaela Rivera and her two children were approached by Babacar Mbaye around 3:20 p.m. Thursday, police said. Rivera said they had just finished a photoshoot for her son, Angel Rivera, when she and her daughter Carmen noticed Mbaye walking really close to people.
“I heard a smack like somebody got hit in the head with a bottle. I turn around and the baby is screaming hollering and crying,” Rivera told WABC.
Police told the TV station crew that loud smack was from Mbaye swinging a closed fist at the boy, striking him in the head.
“I was grabbing toward him and said, ‘Hey, you just hit my son,” she said. “I grabbed him harder, and we both went down. He was on top of me, and I was not letting go.” Officers arrived as the mother was holding Mbaye down.
Rivera says talking to her son about the assault afterwards was difficult.
“I tell him, we have to keep our eyes open, papi, and he’s like, yeah, I know, mami. We have to look around and help each other,” Raphaela Rivera said.
The family says they thought they did everything right to stay safe in the city, including taking an Uber instead of the subway.
Police say the suspect, 34-year-old Bbacar Mbaye, has 33 prior arrests, including two recent assaults.
“I don’t think that he should even be out,” Raphaela Rivera said.
Mbaye was charged with assault, resisting arrest and endangering the welfare of a child. He’s due back in court Wednesday.
The Yucatan Times
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