Three teenagers attacked a 22-year-old woman in a Woodland park Monday evening, after she suspected them of spitting at her 2-year-old boy, police said.
Sgt. Dan Letamendi said the mother and toddler were at the play structure at Ferns Park at about 7 p.m. when they met their attackers, two boys and a girl, who were between 17 to 19 years old.
More details from Chelsea Phua:
The toddler had entered the second-story slide house and the mother was waiting at the bottom of the tube slide. When he did not immediately appear, she became concerned and called out to him.
When he emerged from the slide, his face was covered with spittle, the mother told police.
She noticed the teenagers at the top of the slide house, laughing at her son. She cleaned the spittle off her son's face, sent him off to play and walked up to the teens.
She asked them why they would do such a thing to a child, Letamendi said. The girl became verbally aggressive, rushed up to the mother and spit in her face. When the mother tried to push the teen away, the teen punched and kicked her, knocking the mother to the ground. The two boys joined in the attack, kicking the woman as she rolled into a fetal position.
They broke off the attack shortly and were last seen running away on Ashley Avenue.
The mother was treated at Woodland Memorial Hospital for pain, bruising and swelling. She was later released. The child had no visible injuries.
Letamendi said it isn't clear what prompted the attack and are looking to speak to several people who were at the park around the time of the assault, including a woman who distracted the toddler's attention from the attack.
Letamendi said parents need to keep an eye on children when they are in public places. Also, "People need to become involved if they see something that they suspect is wrong or criminal," he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Woodland Police Department's Investigations Division at (530) 661-7800.