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Man arrested after allegedly spanking stranger’s child in Kroger checkout line

The father of the child told police the suspect was intoxicated when he grabbed his son by the arm and spanked him at the self-checkout line.

NEWNAN, Ga. – A man was taken into custody after allegedly spanking a 2-year-old child in a grocery store checkout line.

On Feb. 6, Newnan police arrested 62-year-old Juan Guvarra Martinez after he allegedly spanked a stranger’s child at a Newnan Kroger.

The boy's father, Logan Morris, said he was going through the checkout aisle with his 2-year-old son when the boy asked for candy.

"I told him, 'No, it's too late bud,'" Morris said.

That's when, according to Morris, the man behind them in the line grabbed his son's hand, spun him around and spanked him three times.

"I didn't know what to think," Morris said. "I was blown away by the situation."

Morris said the man, identified as Martinez, told him, "That's how we deal with kids in Mexico."

Morris said he replied, "We're not in Mexico," left the store and called police.

The father said store employees were quick to separate the parties, according to the police report.

Martinez was still in line when officers arrived and when asked about the incident, he told police the boy was “doing something with a candy bar.” The report stated Martinez’s eyes were bloodshot and had a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person.”

Police stated Martinez’s speech was slurred and he began to cuss in front of employees and customers.

Martinez was then handcuffed and taken out of the store.

Once inside the patrol car, the police report stated Martinez began kicking the doors and windows. Police said at the jail, he would not respond to staff leading staff to call an ambulance.

Martinez was cleared by Newnan Piedmont Hospital Emergency room and transported back to the Coweta County Jail where he was turned over to the booking staff without incident.

Martinez was charged with battery, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of officers. He was also placed on the store’s Criminal Trespass Log due to the incident.

MIchelle Lott, the 2-year-old boy's grandmother, said she credit's Logan's calm reaction for keeping the situation under control.

"I didn't want to start something and have him get hurt in the process," Lott said. "I wanted him out of the store, my son."

Logan said he doesn't spank his own kids, and is certainly not ok with someone else doing it.


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