Bakersfield police arrest man for hitting toddler in face

WARNING: This footage contains material that some viewers may find disturbing due to explicit language and/or the graphic nature of the material.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Police in Bakersfield arrested a man who they say hit a toddler in the face. And the whole incident was caught on surveillance video.

It's video that is hard to watch. A toddler is seen running away from a man inside the Vest Market in Downtown Bakersfield. Then seconds later, he's struck in the face -- knocked to the ground. The man then picks up the child, and a woman is seen walking the little boy outside.

"I would never imagine treating a child like that," said Chris Danaher, who works at a tattoo shop near the market. "His wife or girlfriend or whatever was clearly pregnant. She had no regard to it. She picked up her son and left the store."

Justin Whittington, 23, was arrested Friday morning.

"It's terrible. That kid is obviously too young to know what was going on. Honestly, couldn't be more than 3 years old, and I just couldn't imagine anyone doing that to me or me doing that to a child whatsoever," said Danaher.

Whittington is being held at the Kern County Jail on $1 million bail.

Officials say the toddler was checked out by paramedics and is doing just fine.

The nature of Whittington's relationship to the boy is not yet known.

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