Police investigating after toddler allegedly punched by stranger at supermarket

Theo Maddren, 18 months, was with his mum at a supermarket when he was punched in the side of the face.
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Theo Maddren, 18 months, was with his mum at a supermarket when he was punched in the side of the face.

Parents of an 18-month-old have complained to police after they say their toddler was punched in the head by a stranger at an Auckland supermarket. 

Shelly Maddren said she and son Theodore were shopping at Glenfield Pak'nSave on the North Shore on Sunday morning when a stranger "lashed out" at them. 

Maddren said she was queuing at the deli behind a man who looked to be in his 20s, and who was with another man Maddren assumed to be his father or caregiver. 

She said she watched the man getting increasingly irate, before he turned around with a closed fist and hit Theodore on the side of the face. 

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Afterward there was a "commotion" and the two men were escorted from the store quickly, Maddren said. 

"He just lashed out at the first thing he saw, which was Theo," Maddren said. 

"(Theo) quite surprised me. He didn't cry. He was just holding his head a little bit and looking at me." 

Concerned shoppers and Pak'nSave staff supported Maddren, who then reported the incident to police. 

She understood police would be reviewing security footage and Pak'nSave was assisting with their inquiries. 

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The family's ordeal wasn't quite over. 

Later that day Theo began vomiting, and was taken to Starship Children's Hospital as a precaution. 

However he has been cleared of anything serious, and was believed to have had a virus. 

Maddren said she reported the assault to police because she wanted to make sure the alleged assailant had his own support. 

The family believed he was intellectually disabled. 

"We just want it to be followed up and to find out more information," she said. 

Police confirmed they were investigating.

 - Stuff

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