The woman who allegedly beat a NJ woman last week has surrendered, after video of the brutal beating—which shows the victim's two-year-old son trying to defend his mother—went viral. Latia Harris, 25, was charged with aggravated assault and two counts of making terroristic threat.
The video was distressing for a number of reasons: Besides showing the beating of Catherine Ferreira, who was punched and kicked, Ferreira's son tries to stop his mother's attacker and cries out for the beating to stop. Then there are onlookers who watch the beating and don't stop it. Ferreira, though, forgave them, "I really want to make this clear — I don't want people to see them as monsters. They didn't really see that this was more serious than just a fight."
Ferreira, who said that she used to work with Harris at the McDonald's in Salem, NJ believes that Harris was upset because she joked about Harris being involved with another worker. (Harris was worried about losing her job.) Ferreira is 4'9" and 100 pounds; she said, "I thought she may have been capable of hitting my son. I mean, her size versus my size — she could have killed me." Harris allegedly followed Ferreira behind the McDonald's and confronted her.
Ferreira managed to get help from a nearby apartment complex. She has limited vision in her left eye, numerous contusions and a broken nose.
The authorities had been looking for Harris since last week. Yesterday, Salem Police Chief John Pelura III said, "I believe Harris had no other choice than to turn herself in under her own terms as it would only be a matter of time before she was captured."
Harris's bail is set at $35,000. Authorities will not charge witnesses who filmed and observed the beating. And the owner of the McDonald's said, "I am aware of the incident involving one of my employees earlier this week. I am extremely disturbed by this kind of behavior and it goes against the values and standards that I expect from my employees in my restaurants. This employee will not be serving customers pending this important police investigation and I'm fully cooperating with the local police in this matter."