MANCHESTER, N.H. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A 48-year-old woman is accused of attacking a 2-year-old girl at a New Hampshire grocery store.
Investigators allege Lorraine Augustine attacked a toddler as she entered a Market Basket in Manchester with her mother Wednesday afternoon. Augustine reportedly ran up to the child and began pushing her to the ground. Police say she then hit the girl as she was on the ground before removing the child's snow boot and hitting her with it.
A witness, Liz Andrews, was punched in the face as she pulled Augustine away from the child.
The toddler's mother Krystan Lambert is grateful for Andrews' help.
"I can't thank her enough," she said.
Andrews lives close to Lambert and her daughter, although they had never crossed paths before this incident. Lambert was walking out of the store with a carriage full of groceries when Augustine started hitting her daughter.
"All of a sudden she's down on the ground crying. I went to go pick her up and I thought the person that was right there was going to pick her up, too, but she was swinging at her," Lambert said.
Andrews was walking into the store just as the attack began. And in the split second she took to assess the situation, something drew her right into it.
"It's the sound from a child you know they're being hurt," Andrews said.
As a mom of two herself, she knew she had to act and immediately put herself in between Lambert, cradling her baby girl, and Augustine.
"I immediately stood in and the woman's arms are still coming and that's when I took one in the face," she said.
Meanwhile, Lambert's maternal instincts were in full swing to doing all she could to protect her daughter.
"While I was holding her I was trying to kick her and push her away," Lambert said.
She went on to say that it made her feel awful that she wasn't able to prevent the attack.
The child was transported to a local hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Lambert told police she did not know Augustine prior to the alleged attack. Augustine was arrested after refusing to speak with officers at the scene. According to Manchester police, Augustine has not had previous contact with their department.
Lorraine Augustine was held on $10,000 cash bail after her arraignment Thursday on charges of second degree assault and simple assault. She is due back in court for a probable cause hearing on March 6.
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