VIDEO: Florida mom punched, robbed at park while holding toddler

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) - Police are searching for a dangerous duo who punched and robbed a Winter Haven mother who was holding her toddler.

The incident occurred in broad daylight at Kiwanis Park, which is located at 301 Ave. C NE.

According to police, the mother told detectives she and her toddler were playing inside a fenced area of the park when she noticed two black men walking toward them from different directions.

She started to feel uneasy, so she picked up her child and bolted toward her car.

“She had a bad feeling. She just kind of got caught because these guys were hunting her,” Winter Haven Police Chief Charlie Bird told News Channel 8.

When she got near her car, police said the suspects walked behind her, put something against her back and one said: “Give me your money or I’ll shoot!”

“He just smacked me in the face and said give me your purse or I’ll shoot,” the woman frantically told a 911 dispatcher.

The women felt something on her back and then she was punched in the right side of her face, police said.

The impact sent both the woman and her toddler she was holding to the ground. Fortunately, the child was not injured.

While she was on the ground, the man who punched her stole her purse and both men ran off.

“He came up to me, hit me in the face and knocked me over. I have a little one. He grabbed my purse and ran off,” the woman sobbed to the 911 dispatcher.

The woman’s toddler can be heard screaming and crying in the background of the entire 911 call.

The victim ran to a nearby business and called 911.

“The lady just come in just screaming, ‘help, help,’ she goes,, ‘I’ve just been attacked’ and I heard her yelling and the baby crying,” Medical Assistant Michelle Thomas told WFLA. “We called 911 right away.”

Upon arrival, authorities canvassed the area and located a witness who saw two black men wearing clothes that matched the victim’s description.

He said he saw the men head towards the park in a gold pickup truck, possibly a Chevrolet S10 with an extended cab.

Detectives learned the victim’s bank card was used at a Redbox in front of the CVS located on 99 Magnolia Ave. in Auburndale. The card was used again to buy two cell phones at the Ace Wireless located at 413 Magnolia Ave. Video surveillance of the truck was obtained at CVS and the suspect who punched the victim was seen on video surveillance inside of the Ace Wireless store.

“We are urging the public to take a good look at the video we obtained,” said Chief Charlie Bird. “To target a mother with her toddler in broad daylight is reprehensible. These guys must be caught before someone is seriously injured.”

Police are describing the suspects as black men between the ages of 18 and 25 and approximately 6′ – 6’4″ tall. The first suspect was wearing a black hooded sweater and dark pants at the time of the incident. The second was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and gym shorts.

Anyone with information on their identities is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477). Callers are guaranteed anonymity and could be eligible for a cash reward.

Mobile County

Baldwin County

Northwest Florida