A dollar store employee has been arrested for allegedly taking off her belt and beating a customer’s eight-year-old son after he ran around the shop and threw a cookie at her.
Emilia Graciela Bell, 39, has also been fired from her clerk position at the Dollar General in Wrightsville, Georgia after bosses and police reviewed surveillance footage which caught the attack.
While authorities have not yet released the video, they said it shows Bell hitting Logan Ivey as many as 26 times as he screamed and tried to squirm away.
Wrightsville Police Chief Paul Sterling said Logan was running around in the store when he was confronted by Bell.
Speaking to WMAZafter Bell’s arrest on Thursday, Logan said the woman approached him and called him a ‘demon’.
‘So I said “I’ll show you bad” and I picked up a cookie and I threw it at her,’ he said. ‘So then she starts chasing me around the Dollar General with her belt and takes me behind the counter and starts beating me with her belt.’
Police said the video shows Bell repeatedly striking the boy on the back.
‘I felt like I had five needles sticking in me, then it really hurt,’ Logan said. ‘I was screaming “Momma”. I was crying real bad because she [the clerk] had actually hurt me”.’
The boy’s mother and sister were in the store at the time but did not witness the beating. But his family has now seen the footage, his father, Jody Ivey, told WMAZ.
‘Itwasn’t a spanking, it was more or less a beating than a spanking the way she was hitting him. I don’t know how to explain it and I don’t want to think about it,’ he said.
‘Nobody got a right to spank my child or nobody else’s child. especially with a belt. I don’t even spank my own with a belt.’
Logan, who fought back the tears as he explained the attack happened just two days before his birthday, added: ‘It felt real real painful. Nobody should have that kind of torture to them. It really hurts.’
Bell was immediately arrested and admitted to the assault. She has been charged with aggravated assault and cruelty to children and could serve a maximum of 20 years in prison for the crimes.
The charges were upgraded from battery after police watched the surveillance footage.
Dollar General released a statement explaining it had fired Bell.
‘We are deeply shocked and saddened by the reported incident at our store in Wrightsville, Georgia,’ it said. ‘And have expressed our sincere apologies to the child’s family.
‘The type of behavior described in this incident is unacceptable, and the person responsible is no longer employed by Dollar General.’
Bell was taken to jail but released on bond on Friday morning.