They were sitting at a picnic bench. I watched as the mom left the area to place their order for dinner. The man and his two daughters were eating chips and salsa, all three in a row, smallest to biggest. The smallest one fell off the bench which was connected to the table. The man tried to act quickly to get to the smallest one but in his haste, he too fell from the bench knocking down the middle girl. Once the man freed himself from the bench he quickly picked up the small one and bent over towards the middle one who was laying on the bench.
His fist closed.
His arm raised.
His fist pounded the middle one on the back of her hip.
The middle one scurried to the ground. She yelled and cried and moved to the next table huddled around the base yelling things at the man.
My husband spoke to the man. My husband called the police.
I spoke to the middle one, trying to get her to come to me so we could find her mother.
The man said to stay out of it. To leave the girls alone.
The mother came back to two screaming girls and an angry man. She came back to another man talking to the police on the phone. She came back to a woman cleaning up her children. She told her man to take five. She huddled with her girls. She listened as several people told her that the man punched the middle one.
I told her we would not leave her until the police came. She asked me what to do. I asked if this had ever happened before. She cried and said yes.
The police came.
They found the man.
They spoke to the woman.
They spoke to the girls.
They spoke to us.
And then we left.
My children are shaken. They stuck close by my side. They couldn't process what they saw. My boy said he can't get the image out of his head. My girl said over and over what the man did.
My husband...is a good man with a soft heart. My husband acted quickly. My husband stood his ground.