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Suspect accused of slamming son to the floor of Walmart tells judge, 'I was in the wrong'

By Howard B. Owens

A 28-year-old Warsaw resident is in the Genesee County Jail tonight after being accused of throwing his 7-year-old son to the floor while in the toy department at Walmart this afternoon.

Christopher P. Cummings was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court in front of Justice Thomas Williams on charges of harassment, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child and ordered held on $2,500 bail.

The boy was taken to UMMC by Child Protective Services for a precautionary evaluation and is reportedly uninjured.

In court tonight, Cummings said, "I was in the wrong, obviously."

The alleged incident was reported at 2:30 p.m. after a witness reported seeing Cummings pick the boy up by his shoulders and "slam" him to the floor.

"I screamed at the man and told him to leave the child alone," the witness said in a written statement.

The arresting officer, Trooper Eric Daigler, wrote in the report filed with the court -- known as an accusatory -- that Cummings was seen lifting the boy over his head and then "throw him to the floor."

Cummings then reportedly picked up the boy and started to walk away. He was joined by a young woman and two children and all five quickly exited the store.

The man who said he had screamed at Cummings called 9-1-1.

Several witnesses reportedly either saw the incident or heard the commotion. Cummings was reportedly yelling very loudly at the boy.

In a written statement, Cummings admits to the incident.

He said the boy had been with his mother who was looking at clothing, but the mother complained the boy was misbehaving and asked Cummings to watch over him.

Cummings took his three boys to look at video games, but the oldest boy wasn't interested, so they went to the toy section.

The boy became interested in some playing cards, something like, Cummings wrote, "Pokemon or Skylander." The boy asked for the cards and Cummings said no. The boy then tried to open the cards and Cummings told him not to and the three boys and their dad walked to the next aisle.

The boy then said he was going back to put the cards away. When he returned, he had the cards out of the packaging and the wrapper was gone.

Cummings said he slapped the 7-year-old with an open hand. The boy fell to the floor and started to cry.

"He argued about the cards," Cummings said. "That's when I picked him up and slammed him down.

"That's when people in the store started yelling at me," Cummings added. "(The boy) had sprawled himself out and was throwing a temper tantrum."

Cummings said he picked the boy up, was joined by the boy's mother and he told her people were yelling at him and that he had slapped the boy.

He was aware, he said, that people said they were going to call the police, but he wasn't sure if anybody actually had.

The family drove to the Tonawanda Indian Reservation and while there received a phone call from the mother of the mother who said the incident had made the news.

The family returned to the Pavilion residence of the mother and three children and Cummings continued on to Warsaw.

"I know I have anger management problems and I want to get help for it," Cummings wrote at the end of his statement.

The mother called the Sheriff's Office and was put in touch with Trooper Holly Hanssel who convinced her to have Cummings return to Pavilion, which he did. By that time, Cummings had already been identified as the suspect by several callers who had seen the news report. State Police were at the residence by the time Cummings returned.

He was taken into custody without incident.

Justice Williams issued a complete stay away order of protection for Cummings. For the time being, at least, he's to have no contact whatsoever with his three sons.

In a news release to all WNY media outlets, State Police said that investigators had no leads on who the suspect was until the post appeared on The Batavian.

"Within minutes of the posting leads as to the suspect’s identity began coming in," the news release reads, and concludes, "Troopers credit the swift apprehension of Cummings to the posting of his picture by the online news outlet and the public’s willingness to come forward with the information that led to his identity."

scott williams

Lets just say If I was the one that seen this you would never have walked out of that store. You are the biggest coward beating up little kids and your own no less I hope they grow up never forgetting what you did. And to you WALMART where the hell is the security in your store if this is the trash you seem to have in that dirty place on a regular basis isnt it time or does someone need to be killed first? You have people assaulting seniors and now little kids and still no security, is it that your afraid of a bad public image if a guard is there? well let me tell you your image is that of a filthy store, and where people don't feel safe. This douchebag admitted by his own confession to doing this, I pray the District attorneys office does the right thing again and goes after this jerk like that savage that beat up the woman cashier. You failed again WALMART!!!

May 24, 2013, 1:24am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

It's rather unfair to blame Walmart for the conduct of a customer. That's like blaming the umpires for the pitcher giving up back-to-back home runs. Nobody can really control the actions of another person.

Without the cooperation of Walmart's security, there never would have been an arrest in the case. They allowed me into their security center and let me pick which of a series of pictures to publish and would have provided more (I turned down additional photos because I couldn't have cropped the children out of the others). The gentleman I dealt with was very concerned and very helpful.

May 24, 2013, 7:54am Permalink
dawn wendt

Thank you, Mr. Owens, and thanks to WalMart for their quick action - and to the police and county social services team too - for working so quickly to make these kids safe. I don't understand why women stay with men like this, much less make babies with them. Lady, GET OUT.

May 24, 2013, 8:28am Permalink
Diane (Smith) Hawn

Howard, You've done a wonderful job in your coverage on this story, and with the assistance that you've given the authorities in capturing this man. I certainly hope that justice is served quickly and severely. There is simply no excuse for this type of behaviour. Carry on, Howard ! You serve out community well ! We thank you !

May 24, 2013, 9:10am Permalink
scott williams

Howard you have your view I have mine you dont agree to most post anyways. I wasnt blaming walmart for the actions of this admitted idiot I was blaming Walmart for no security at their store if there was effective security he would never have made it out the door! And it's easy to go in a room and look at some security tape and feel bad for a victim but Walmart always seems to be doing the (we did this) game. The simple fact I was stating is there is no security at the front of this store. Go back and read my statement I never once blamed Walmart for this Coward's actions!

May 24, 2013, 9:26am Permalink
bud prevost

Scott, in all fairness, what other stores should we expect increased security at? I'm not being adversarial, I'm just curious why Walmart should have extra security while others don't .I don't see Tops, BJ's, or Home Depot with increased security.
I believe what happened was dealt with the way it should have been; a citizen stepped forward when they saw a wrong being done, and this guy was caught because the community took action.
And I hope this dad(?) learns to deal with his anger in a better way. What happened may have been the wake up call he needed to get professional help. It may actually enable him to have a 2nd chance with his kids. These guys are normally a reflection of how they were raised, and here's to hoping he can stop the probable cycle. I am also hoping he does get what he deserves in court, because what he did was dead wrong. It was good to hear him admit he was wrong, because that is a step in the right direction.
And Mr. Owens, I view this as one of the best reasons why I enjoy your site. The Batavian was the primary reason this guy was apprehended so quickly. I learned of it on Facebook, and I shared what had already been shared numerous times in a very short period of time. You may have helped to save these children from a lifetime of dysfunction. Kudos

May 24, 2013, 10:18am Permalink
Ed Hartgrove

A picture on shows a trooper leading this guy out of what appears to be a gov't building. The suspect is wearing a bright, yellow t-shirt, which reads, "Give Me A Dew'.

OK. Adeiu, Mr. Cummings -

May 24, 2013, 10:41am Permalink
Janice Stenman

Just my opinion, but the children should be removed from the home until Cummings can prove that he has control of his temper. Maybe he needs medication along with anger management. I don't think anger management alone can help the kind of rage Cummings displayed.

May 25, 2013, 10:33pm Permalink
scott williams

First let me say its my opinion that there should be security at this store for a multitude of reasons having family and friends who work at this store who many times dont feel safe because of what goes on it this store and thats a fact! If you are able to connect to my FB page and see what I encountered at this store during the past week you will see why I strongly agree to an armed security guard. At many places we go in life where the masses seem to go in volume we see armed security and that we all see so why not at Walmart and I bet if Howard was a person of assault at this store he would ask the same question but I understand he doesnt make waves because without Walmarts cooperation he has less info I commend his work on this story obviously he doesnt agree with my OPINION.

May 26, 2013, 10:16am Permalink

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