Toddler Punched and Rammed with Trolley by Stranger in Kmart

A two-year-old boy was rammed with a trolley and punched in the head by a stranger after throwing an epic tantrum at Kmart.

The toddler sustained minor head injuries, according to police investigating the alleged assault.

The child’s mother Rebecca had been shopping for birthday presents yesterday with her three sons aged 6, 4 and 2 in a busy Auckland mall.

The boys began to get irritable while waiting in a long queue at Kmart. Rebecca said the tension grew when the self-service kiosk repeatedly froze.

“At first I was like, ‘this is fine, we’re going to meet Nana soon.’  I just kept saying that,” Rebecca told the NZ Herald.

Talking about her youngest son, she explained, “He’d been playing with a child-size cart. But when I got to the kiosk and started scanning my products, his tantrum got worse.

“He wouldn’t usually behave like this. I have to admit though – it was a REALLY BAD TANTRUM. Probably one of the worst I have seen.”

A woman, who appeared to be in her 60s, approached the family and rammed her cart into the little boy, hitting him in the head. The stranger then punched the little boy when Rebecca’s back was turned.

Attack followed by a torrent of abuse 

The incident was caught on the store’s security cameras and reviewed by police.

Before leaving, the stranger hurled abuse at the shocked mother. Rebecca recalls:

She said, ‘Take him bloody home! Be quiet! I don’t come here to listen to this!’”

“Everybody just stopped. And I was quite surprised afterwards when I realised people don’t interfere, in case something else that’s bad happens.

“I think people were just kind of staring and watching, while she laid into me. Then one young woman came up to me and told me I was doing an amazing job.”

The aftermath

Police investigations are continuing.

Rebecca says her son is doing well, despite two large bumps on his head. She told the NZ Herald.

My job is to protect my children. To know that someone has punched him in the head and I haven’t reacted… he’ll be like ‘this is normal for people to do this to me’.”

I don’t want him to be psychologically damaged.”


Oh Rebecca.

Here at Mum Central we just want to give you a giant hug, a super-sized coffee and a few shots of tequila. In case you have forgotten, you are a GREAT mum!

Taking three young boys to Kmart, on your own? Absolute superhero. Allowing them the child-size shopping carts? What a legend you are, those things take a lot of patience! And finally, two-year-olds… well, enough said. We promise you, that tantrum was not the worst we’ve ever seen.

For all those who have forgotten the protocol, if you spot a chaotic kid at the shops:

  • Don’t ram them with a trolley (under any circumstances)
  • Smile at their caregiver
  • Say an encouraging word or two and finally,
  • Thank your lucky stars it’s not you trying to fight that battle today.

Feel like you’ve had your fair share of toddler tantrums? Find out how you can help avoid toddler tantrums (no trolley required!).


Avatar of Jillian Berry

Jillian Berry is the exhausted mother of four spirited daughters. Once a journo and editor, she now enjoys torturing her children with zucchini. When she’s not searching for her phone charger, she can be found trying to remember her password, which she only reset yesterday. She fantasizes about escaping to a remote island with her Kindle and a giant jar of Nutella. She’s also a (provisional) psychologist who’d love to make the world a better place, if only she could find the energy.

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