A California teen has been arrested for assaulting a young girl and her father with a crowbar in a local Walmart – and says the girl deserved it.
Police say homeless 18-year-old Maria Garate entered the San Jose Walmart at around 11 am and approached a father and his 4-year-old daughter in the purse section and, without warning, hit the girl with a crowbar. When the father quickly intervened, she hit him as well.
A spokesperson for the San Jose Police Department said “the female entered the store and, for no apparent reason, she drew a crowbar that she had carried from her person and struck the child at least twice in the head causing pretty serious injuries.”
Employees subdued Garate until authorities arrived. While being held down on the ground, she yelled the 4-year-old “deserved it.”
The girl and her dad were taken to a local hospital to be treated for their injuries. The girl is expected to make a full recovery.
Lt. Jason Dwyer said “this is any parent’s worst nightmare. The father sees it happening right in front of him, does what any father would try to do, jumps in, tries to stop it, he’s struck but is ultimately able to stop the attack. If someone was attacking my daughter not much would keep me from trying to stop the attack. I think the father did what any father would do… he intervened and was able to stop the attack… I know he did it out of love, but it was heroic.”
According to police, Garate is no stranger to the authorities and lives at a well-known homeless camp known as the “Jungle,” roughly a half mile away from where the attack took place.