The family of a 1-year-old child who was allegedly kicked in the back by a man yelling racial slurs in a Kansas grocery store is speaking out after the man was released from jail this week.
The child’s mother, Lashantai Whitaker, told the Wichita Eagle in an interview published Thursday that she had concerns about other children’s safety in the wake of the incident.
“He could attack someone else’s kid … if he’s out and he’s everywhere,” she said.
Kansas police say Trace Riff was arrested for allegedly kicking the child and yelling racial slurs inside the grocery store on Sunday morning.
He reportedly has a history of mental illness, homelessness and not reporting to parole officers, according to records cited by the newspaper. His legal history includes drug use and violent crimes, police records show, the Wichita Eagle reported.
It’s unclear if Riff has spoken with any media following his release from jail.
“I don’t understand. He’s out just hours after he attacked a baby,” Yolanda Frierson, the grandmother of the child, told the newspaper.
The Wichita Police Department said in a statement Thursday reported by the outlet that it “is investigating a racially motivated bias crime.”
Whitaker, who is currently pregnant, said Riff kicked her child in the back with his cowboy boot, forcing the child to the ground. The child was reportedly wearing a thick coat and no injuries were reported.
Riff then allegedly attempted to leave the grocery store, but was reportedly tackled by bystanders and held until police arrived. He continued to yell racial slurs and said he was a white supremacist, Whitaker said.
“He sounded like a madman,” she added.
Riff was booked into the Sedgwick County jail Sunday on charges of ethnic intimidation, battery and resisting police, according to the police report.
He was released hours later on a $3,500 bail. An official with the sheriff’s office said he did not have any special bond conditions.
The case has been sent to the local Municipal Court, but Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett told the Eagle that his office would review the case next week to determine if it will file charges.