GRAPHIC VIDEO: Man Who Sucker-Punched 12-Year-Old Dancer Gets 7 Years


    “Cedric Moore changed his plea from not guilty to guilty earlier this month and was sentenced by a judge for second-degree assault in Cape Girardeau,” 11 Alive reported Friday.

    A viral video clip showed the incident involving 12-year-old Ethan Hagler, who was dancing on a Main Street sidewalk in July near his dance instructor, Michael Curry, and another child.

    In the video, Hagler, wearing a red T-shirt, had his back turned when an SUV pulled up nearby and a man wearing a white shirt got out of the vehicle and approached the group.

    He appeared to dance behind the boy before punching him in the head. The boy then fell to the ground, and the man ran back to the vehicle while Curry pursued him. The vehicle, however, sped away.

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    “And all of a sudden I see him punch my kid, and instantly, my first reaction is what? Why?” Curry recalled:

    You know, I tried to chase him back to the car. And as soon as I got the car, I saw there was two other people in the car. So I had to think about my child. He’s laying on the ground. And from there, it was a lot of people that came up to help, especially Shaker’s, the bar downtown that we usually set up in front of.

    Hagler appeared dazed moments after the incident when concerned bystanders walked over to the group.

    His mother, Stephanie Hagler, said he suffered a bloody nose and concussion.

    Days later, Moore turned himself in to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and was charged with second-degree felony assault and first-degree child endangerment.

    “The public has understandably expressed a desire to see Moore charged with a hate crime for this heinous crime,” the Cape Girardeau Police Department said in a July 6 Facebook post:

    “In accordance with state statutes, this charge would only apply if the assault was categorized to a lesser degree, which would not be in the best interest of seeking true justice for the victim,” the department concluded.

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