A Santa Ana, Calif., woman has been charged with battery after accosting a 12-year-old for riding his bike on the sidewalk in their gated neighborhood.
The woman, Susan Garcia, was caught on video grabbing the handlebars of Jeffrey Vandervort's bicycle and yelling at him to get off of the sidewalk and ride in the street, reports KTLA. The woman has been dubbed the "Sidewalk Karen" after the video went viral.
The video, which was recorded by the pre-teen's GoPro camera, clearly shows how Garcia aggressively approached Vandervort and ordered him to ride in the street.
“She walked over to me and just started yelling and pushed me into this little tree and then hit me in the back,” the 12-year-old told KTLA.
As the two argue in the video, Vandervort tells Garcia she’s not allowed to touch him, to which she replies, “I’ll do what I want.” He then called for his mom to come outside and Garcia continues to berate him.
“Come on out mom, let’s have a little talk with mom,” she is heard yelling in the video.
Whitney Gregory, Vandervort's mother, said Garcia crossed a line the second her neighbor placed her hands on her child. “People in the neighborhood should come directly to the parent, they should never confront a child, harass a child,” Gregory said. “It’s so outrageous.”
The mother told KTLA that she had instructed her son to ride in the sidewalk after he was nearly hit by a car last week. In the video, Garcia claims that Vandervort intentionally tried to run her over. The video totally belies that accusation as the 12-year-old clearly was braking as he approached the woman.
The entire altercation takes place over about two minutes but ends once Jeffrey’s father comes outside as Garcia yells “shame on you” to the parents as she retreats.
After reviewing the video captured by Vandervort’s camera, Gregory said she immediately called the police to press charges. Santa Ana police confirmed to KTLA that Garcia has been charged with battery.
“You’re not really supposed to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk, but unless you’re in willful disregard of somebody’s safety, it’s not a violation of the law. The video shows he wasn’t at fault. She was the aggressor,” legal analyst Royal Oakes told Inside Edition.
Santa Ana woman charged with battery after altercation with 12-year-old riding his bike www.youtube.com
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