Never underestimate the unbridled fury of a mama bear whose cubs have been messed with — you just might get what’s coming to you if you do.
A quick-thinking and infuriated mother helped land a man behind bars after she says he attacked her son in broad daylight in New York’s Times Square last week as the family was enjoying an afternoon stroll.
The iconic Manhattan location has been the site of a number of random violent attacks in recent years and this time around, an apparently deranged man decided to randomly punch a 4-year-old child in the head.
Unfortunately for him, the boy’s mother was having none of it.
Rafaela Rivera told WABC-TV that she and her son Angel, 4, and daughter, Carmen, were taking a walk through Times’ Square on Thursday after the little boy had a photoshoot with a modeling agency when the incident occurred.
At 7th Ave and 46th Street, Rivera noticed a man behaving strangely.
“He was moving weird, like really close to people,” she said.
It was then that she heard the telling sound.
“I heard a smack like somebody got hit in the head with a bottle,” she said.
The smack turned out to be the sound of Angel getting hit in the head, causing him to fall to the ground in serious distress.
“I turn around and the baby is screaming hollering and crying,” Rivera said.
“I was looking at him and I fell down on my head,” the little boy recounted.
This had mama bear “ticked off.”
“I was ticked off. I was outraged,” Rivera told ABC.
In an instant, she had the man on the ground.
“I grabbed him harder and we both went down. He was on top of me and I was not letting go,” she explained.
This fierce protective instinct seems to run in the family — daughter Carmen jumped in to help.
“My daughter says when he was down, she was trying to kick him because he was kicking and he spit at her,” Rafaela explained.
“I was ticked off, I was outraged,” says Rafaela Rivera after her son Angel, 4, was randomly punched in the head in Times Square. This was the wrong mama to mess with…she went after her son’s attacker. The story on @ABC7NY #nyc #wabc #ch7 #TimesSquare pic.twitter.com/oZG53jqT8P
— Naveen Dhaliwal (@NaveenABC7) February 20, 2022
ABC noted that, thanks to the help of two good Samaritans who also jumped in, the man, identified by police as Babacar Mbaye, was detained and has been charged with assault and child endangerment.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 19, 2022
According to the New York Post, Mbaye, 34, had three open misdemeanor charges at the time of his arrest Thursday related to other recent random attacks, and a criminal record that goes back to 2009 and includes assault, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, and 16 misdemeanor convictions.
He was ordered held on $30,000 cash bail, the Post reported.
Let’s praise the Lord that this little boy wasn’t more seriously injured and that Rivera and the two very decent onlookers were able to detain the suspected assailant, preventing him from getting away from the scene of such a sick, senseless attack.
While it is unclear what could have possibly possessed Mbaye to assault a preschooler in Times Square (one strongly suspects mental illness or substance abuse, or both, could easily be factors), there is no doubt that Rivera is the absolute embodiment of a mama bear.
We applaud her for her quick action and relate to her deep primal urge to lash out at the man who targeted her little cub. She’s just the kind of mama bear you most certainly don’t want to mess with.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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