A white woman is facing felony child abuse charges after police say she slapped an 11-year-old black child and called him a racist slur after his go-kart bumped hers at a Florida amusement park.
Cops say Haley Zager, 30, and the boy were driving go-karts at the Boomers amusement park in Boca Raton Saturday night when they accidentally collided.
Zager allegedly confronted the child after the ride and, in the presence of three Boomers employees, slapped him in the face, using a racist slur to justify the strike to bystanders.
Boca Raton police say they also found a metal Altoids tin full of various pills in her underwear.
She has been charged with second-degree child abuse and four counts of drug possession for the prescription pills.
Court records say Zager admitted to officers that she struck the child, who had a swollen eye, but denied using the slur.
She told police she had stopped at the end of the race when another cart rear-ended her ‘at full speed’.
Zager claimed she went to the child’s cart and when he didn’t apologize, she ‘tapped’ him in the face.
She told police that she should not have hit the child, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The police reports add, however, that after she slapped the boy, she told an employee ‘that f****** n**** hit me in the back’.
Another boy, also 11, who witnessed the incident said he saw Zager get out of her own cart, slap the boy with an open palm and tell a bystander ‘the n***** hit me. The n***** hit me’.
The boy’s father told police that his son had crashed into the woman because another cart had rammed into a line of them, starting off a chain of collisions.
The young boy also said that he was pushed into Zager’s cart by another.
He told police that he did not remember if she used a racial slur while talking to him. The boy stated he didn’t remember what she said as he was still processing that she had slapped him.
Police say the boy’s left cheek was swollen and Boca Raton Fire-Rescue paramedics gave him an ice pack.
The pills were found in Zager’s underwear after a female officer searched her.
Zager was released on her own recognizance Monday. Circuit Judge Ted Booras allowed her to do so during a court appearance Sunday, adding that she must be supervised.
According to the Sun Sentinel, she previously faced felony charges in Palm Beach County for an aggravated domestic battery case in 2018 but prosecutors did not pursue the charges.
Boomers has invited the young victim back for a free day in the park following the incident.
‘At Boomers parks, we value being a family fun center inclusive to guests of all backgrounds. We are saddened that one of our guests did not possess these same values and we do not condone physical or verbal abuse amongst guests,’ the park said in a statement to the Palm Beach Post.
‘We are appreciative of our staff and the police and fire rescue officers who acted swiftly to diffuse the situation.’