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White man arrested for assaulting Black teen with belt

Matthew Martel faces charges of cruelty to children, disorderly conduct, battery and simple assault for his attack of 15-year-old Maliyk Sim.

Caution tape SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

A white man in Carroll County, Georgia was arrested for assaulting a Black teen in his neighborhood, NBC affiliate 11 Alive reported.

According to Latika Sim, her 15-year-old son Maliyk Sim was at her sister’s house in the Villa Rica area when he called her to inform her that he’d been attacked by 29-year-old Matthew Martel. He told her that he hit his head after the man placed his hands on his neck and threw his body against the garage. Per home security footage, Martel also charged toward the teen before pulling out a belt and hitting him.

“I was just panicked,” Latika said after watching the video.

“I was just, like, in 2021 I could not believe that a fully grown man would think that it was okay to come outside with a belt...I have never once thought, ‘You know what, let me take my belt off and beat somebody else’s kid.’”

Though Latika wishes Maliyk would have stood up for himself just a little more, she is happy that he didn’t as she is unaware of how that situation might have ended.

“My son has played football, he has played every sport, he is fully capable of defending himself. But he knew he could not defend himself. So he walked away. He walked away and still this man is chasing him with a belt. So now I am in a full panic because my kids are unprotected,” said Latika.

She continued, “He...knows that if he would have defended himself, then he probably would have went to jail or the reality [is], he probably would have been dead.”

Following the incident, Martel was taken into custody on charges of counts, including cruelty to children, disorderly conduct, battery and simple assault. Amid his arrest, he told cops that he attacked Maliyk because he was upset with his use of profanity. It was also revealed that the 29-year-old was out on bond for another child cruelty case.

See footage of the attack below.

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