Man accused of kicking toddler released from jail

WICHITA, Kan. Friday, December, 28, 2018

A man accused of kicking a one-year-old at a grocery store over the weekend is out of jail Friday morning.

Riff Trace is no longer listed on the Sedgwick County Jail's inmate roster.
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The Wichita Police Department says it arrested a 31-year-old man and is investigating an incident at an east Wichita Dillons store it describes as a "racially motivated bias crime."

Police arrested 31-year-old Riff Trace for "battery that was bias and racially motivated" and for resisting arrest.

Police say at about 7:20 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to an assault call at the Dillons store in the 3000 block of East Douglas.

"Through the investigation, it was learned Trace walked into the Dillons store and kicked a 1-year-old victim in the back, causing the child to fall on the floor," police say.

Police say Trace did this while yelling obscenities and racial slurs. Police say when officers arrived, Riff "was being held on (the) ground by citizens."

Lashantai Whitaker is the mother of the 1-year-old boy police say fell to the floor after being kicked by Trace. Wednesday, she spoke with Eyewitness News about what happened early Sunday morning.

"We were barely in the store and (Trace) kicked him in his back," Whitaker says. "All I heard was a loud thud and my daughter screaming."

She says Trace tried to get away but another customer tackled him.

She says when Trace kicked her son, he came up behind them. She described it like "a sneak attack."

She says her son was not seriously injured, but "he could have done serious damage." Whitaker says she's confused by what happened and hopes Trace does time for what he did.

"What grown person, I mean, even if you do have that much hate for someone,... I mean, why would you attack a baby?" Whitaker says.