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Video of brutal beating of mom as toddler son watches

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A screen grab of cell phone video posted on NJ.com of a woman beating up another as a young boy looks on. A screen grab of cell phone video posted on NJ.com of a woman beating up another as a young boy looks on.
In this undated photo provided by the Salem Police Department Latia Harris is shown. Police in southern New Jersey are looking for Harris who they say was videotaped in Salem N.J., on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 beating a mother in front of her toddler. (AP) In this undated photo provided by the Salem Police Department Latia Harris is shown. Police in southern New Jersey are looking for Harris who they say was videotaped in Salem N.J., on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 beating a mother in front of her toddler. (AP)
SALEM, N.J. (AP) -- A woman kicked and pummeled a mother in front of her toddler as at least one witness recorded video but did nothing to stop the savage beating, police said Thursday.

Latia Harris, 25, of Salem, was charged with aggravated assault and terroristic threats in the Tuesday evening assault. Salem police had not located her as of Thursday afternoon.

The video shows the mother falling to the ground as a woman repeatedly punches her face, kicks her in the back and spits on her. Several people watch as the woman also threatened to attack the victim's 2-year-old son, who yelled and kicked the suspect's legs in a futile effort to stop the violence.

Police Chief John Pelura III described the video as "physically sickening to watch," and he blasted witnesses for recording the beating instead of calling for help. The footage was posted to Facebook.

"There is so little regard for human life -- by the actor and the bystanders," Pelura said in a statement.

The assault took place in a field between a McDonald's and an apartment complex in Salem, a small city about 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Police received a call from the guardhouse outside the apartments and said they arrived to find the victim disoriented, confused and bleeding from the face. The victim told reporters she has a broken nose and mild concussion.

She told officers that a McDonald's employee named Tia accused her of spreading rumors about her and her manager, police said. The victim used to work at the McDonald's herself.

The owner of the franchise, Jim Burlaga, released a statement confirming the video shows one of his workers, who appeared to be wearing her fast-food uniform. Burlaga said he was "extremely disturbed" by the behavior and is cooperating with police.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 
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