HUMBLE, Texas -- A grandmother from Humble was facing criminal charges Friday, accused of beating a toddler inside a department store so severely other shoppers reportedly told her to stop and called managers for help.
Joslyn Michelle Hargrove was being held in the Harris County Jail without bond, charged with injury to a child. Deputies said her physical discipline of her 3-year-old granddaughter went way beyond a spanking.
"A witness had described that the defendant had used a belt on the toddler there and also had used her fist, at one point, to punch the toddler in the chest," said Tom Gilliland, a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy.
Hargrove was inside the Target on FM 1960 in the Atascocita area when the incident happened Thursday. Another shopper walking down an aisle told Hargrove to stop beating the child, deputies say, but Hargrove argued that she was free to discipline her granddaughter. The shopper then tracked down a manager, who called a sheriff’s deputy for help.
An ambulance crew checked out the child and discovered bruises and welts consistent with the beating witnesses described, deputies said. The girl was not hospitalized. She’s was back in her mother’s care Friday, while the grandmother sits in jail.
Harris County CPS officials said they’re investigating the matter.
The incident happened the same week that a video emerged showing a Texas judge beating his teenaged daughter. That video sparked a national discussion about when corporal punishment crosses the line into child abuse.
"A hand along the buttocks is one thing, but the vital areas above the buttocks or on the chest, these are not normal discipline-type stuff," Gilliland said.