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Golden Corral Customers Complain About Child’s Beating; Augusta Mom Arrested as a Result

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A local mother was arrested Sunday for beating her 14-year-old son following reports from outraged customers at the Golden Corral in Martinez, according to a sheriff’s report.

Tonja Pierce, 47, of Augusta, was observed punching the boy several times and then using her shoe to hit him on the head and back while inside the restaurant on Bobby Jones Expressway, the report says.

(For other crime news from the area, check out this week’s edition of The Jail Report. Cover image: http://thejailreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Cover-Issue-645.jpg)

In the Golden Corral incident, Deputy Kevin Center was on duty at the restaurant when customers began complaining to him of Pierce’s actions. The deputy approached the mother, who promptly got up and headed for the door. The deputy told her to stop.

“I am not talking to anyone,” Pierce reportedly said.

The deputy followed her outside where he told her to stop or be arrested. A furious Pierce looked at her son and said, “Wait until you get home,” a report says.

“I discussed the incident with the mother and she said she lost control of her emotions and did strike the child in the face with her open hand and with her shoe,” the deputy said in his report.

She was then arrested.

The boy had no visible injuries. He told deputies he was playing with his sister and his mother told him to stop. When he didn’t stop, Pierce hit him in the back a few times.

Customers tried to stop Pierce from hitting her son, but she reportedly said, “Ths is my child and I will do what I want because I don’t care.”

A family member finally calmed Pierce down and she stopped, but customers reported the incident to Deputy Center, which started the investigation.

One witness said it appeared that Pierce had a mental breakdown while beating the boy, who was covering his head during the incident.

She was charged with simple battery – family violence.

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Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.

19 COMMENTS

    • So, wjbfan, you think that if people beat their kids more, they’ll be less likely to engage in crime? Way to go. Many parents are either absent or use physical force to correct their children. There is a happy medium, folks. Find it. Provide firm direction, give consequences, but if you have to resort to that level of discipline, you aren’t helping, you’re only setting these kids up for being more of a problem than you think.

      • I know her and she is a very nice lady.She just lost control in that moment. I know that times have changed, but my mom beat the day lights out of all of us and we turned out just fine.She meant what she said,and said what she meant and if you did something wrong your a– was bbeat. Period. My last one was in the 5th grade it was so bad, I NEVER did anything else.

        • Yes times have changed. People thought nothing of beating a child’s a$$ whether it was your child’s or another family members child. Its what was accepted. Now its called and IS child abuse. It will get you locked up faster than you can blink an eye, and guess what? That’s exactly where you need to be.

        • You say you know this person and she’s a very nice lady and she just lost control in that moment. If it only takes a moment to lose that much control I hate to see what she’s capable of if she was really pi$$ed off.

      • If i called richmond county sheriff’s office everytime i was disciplined both of my parents would be doing life sentences. If your not concerned when it’s time to feed the child, purchase clothing etc. why so much concern on how he’s disciplined? Everyone who is so concerned volunteer to take care or be responsible for him for 6-12 months & let’s see how well your parenting skills match up?

    • Christy your 100% CORRECT! Whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not , it’s states very clearly “Spare the Rod spoils the Child” . It doesn’t say BEAT OR BREAK BONES OR LEAVE THEM IN VERY BAD LIVING CONDITIONS OR STARVE THEM. There is a right way to discipline a child and if your an adult that has a Brain and a Body to even be blessed with having your own child , then ACT LIKE AN ADULT THAT HAS COMMON SENSE. Better yet GET SOME TRAINING ON HOW TO BE AN ADULT OR A PARENT. This crap makes me sick . Flat out ridiculous. If people didn’t speak up about situations like this this world would be in worse shape than it is in now. Later yall

  1. Or for the rest of you, when he grows up and becomes an advocate to end family violence etc. Or a cop. What would you do then? Do not assume what he’s going to be because he was beaten as a child. You are worse than his mother, labeling him without cause. How DARE you.

  2. Customers tried to stop Pierce from hitting her son, but she reportedly said, “This is my child and I will do what I want because I don’t care.”

    I wonder if she cares now? It’s funny how people with no sense of decency act like no matter what they do, they CAN because it’s their right. Guess what? You can’t, and you have no right. You have no right to publicly shame that child. You have no right to beat that child (in public or in private). You have no right to avoid an officer of the law who is attempting to question you in regards to your crime. And now you have no rights at all as you sit in that cell and think about what you did. So let me ask you Tonja, still feel like a big shot? Do you care yet? Will you ever care?

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