Dad Slapped at Starbucks: Brooklyn Heights Justice or Just Plain Crazy?

This dispatch just in from a BHB tipster claiming that a Brooklyn Heights Dad got a schmack on the head from another patron at the Montague Street Starbucks. Allegedly, the smacker  felt that the smackee was not parenting properly by ignoring his fidgety baby while waiting on a latte.  Do we call it instant justice or is it past the legal limit?  Full eyewitness account after the jump:

I was in the Montague St Starbucks at 10:20 am today, maybe 10:25. A man outside had a baby in an upright-type stroller and was speaking with a woman who seemed very concerned. It seems that his child was fussing in the stroller while the man ( who I will call “Dad”) was waiting for his drink. When the baby kept crying another man complained to Dad: when Dad did not leave and stayed to wait for his drink, the non-dad man slapped Dad on the back of the head.

Now, I did not see this, but was there immediately afterward. Not only the woman outside with Dad, but the employees and other customers (including child-free individuals) were 99% on Dad’s side. (Only one man seemed to disagree, but he quickly demurred when reminded that one adult should not hit another over this, no matter how aggravating it should be.)

The police were called and the manager and an employee went out and spoke w/them and Dad. The Slapper was out of there by then, but I hope the store
security camera was on. I have seen frequent out-of-control behavior there, but this child was not crying, just looking cranky, when I saw him and he was in the stroller. Actually, I think the baby /toddler was in the stroller the entire time. Thankfully, Dad was very rational and saw no need to start the Thrilla on Montanilla. (It’s Monday, and I’ve had a lot of I coffee, so please pardon my literary excesses.) Slapper had left by the time I got there.

This did not seem to be egregious parental behavior. I have an elementary-school-aged child, and have been in situations like this. I always left the store if my kid got too cranky or loud; doing it once or twice seemed to alert the child to the consequences of misbehaving in an adult public place. One adult hitting another over this kind of thing like this is certainly egregious behavior to me.

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  • Barry

    Submitter changed their story a couple of times on just how badly the baby was fussing. If the child was going nuts and being really loud, then I’d have smacked the dad upside the head too! But if the kid was just a little cranky, then no big deal. But get the story straight on the severity of the baby’s fussing. Otherwise, SHUT UP!

  • dwasifar

    “Do we call it instant justice or is it passed the legal limit?”

    Two options:

    “…or has it passed the legal limit?”
    “…or is it past the legal limit?”

    If you’re watching the detectives, the latter is preferred.

    Regarding the head-smacker: if you don’t like it, move somewhere polite. Like, say, not New York.

  • Homer Fink

    our copy editor toiled over his choice of passed or past


    Why smack the spawner? It was the vile spawn making the unwanted racket in our overly noise-polluted world.

    The vile spawn making the racket should have received the blow, multiple blows if required to quiet the little heathen.

  • nabeguy

    Jeez, sounds like some people are past their 30-day Medco refill. Sure NJ, we should all stop having children unless they’re born with corks in their mouths. This was a 5 minute wait for a venti, not a 5 hour flight to Brussels. Put your buds in, chillax to some tunes and deal with the fact that kids make noise, not always on your particular schedule or that of the parent.

  • nabeguy

    OBBOP, what particular pod did you emerge from? Even facetiously, you are one SSOAB.

  • T.K. Small

    Wow, I don’t check into BHB for a day and a half and I miss a fantastic conversation. Someone should slap me for not paying better attention.

  • rednek

    Who in their right mind would stand in a long line for a fag milkshake?

  • stonelotus

    you all need a good smackin’

  • TG

    It seems some peoples view of “children” is similar to there view on abortion. Are they not human beings now until 18, or is it still conception?

  • nabeguy

    TG, even with the double posting, I’m not sure what your point is.

  • James

    If someone slapped me they would be dead.

  • Claude Scales

    Somehow, this whole thread brings to mind this commercial.

  • nabeguy

    James, chill. Unless you’re walking around with a 45 or nunchuks, what are you going to do in a Starbucks? Smother me with foam? Scald me with a latte? I get where you’re coming from but this is Brooklyn, not Dodge.

  • mrman

    No age is too young to begin the virtues of corporal punishment. Kids gotta quite on down.

  • jimmy

    All I know is itzhak perlman would never have allowed any baby to cry through his Great Wall performance.

  • Bob

    Slapper must have come directly across from an encounter with the Show Nazi.
    That could be his only excuse.

  • nabeguy

    Sounds like the bars just cleared out. Good night all.

  • nystrele

    congrats to BHB for making! way to go homer!

  • Kim

    Next time slap the baby.

  • Tim N.

    I’d like to slap most of the last twenty-something commenters. “Don’t have kids.” “I hate kids.” “They breathe my air.” Trolls. This is why you shouldn’t read blogs.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    How ironic. Tim uses an enlightening discussion that presents many different points of view, sprinkled with some pretty funny quips as a basis for swearing off blogs.

    As I have said many a time, you just can’t make this stuff up.

    The intellect of Brooklyn Heights was put on display here which provides me some hope that the ability to express oneself with the written word didn’t disappear, here in Brooklyn Heights, with Norman Mailer.

  • Homer Fink

    Welcome Farkers as well.

    Homer Fink (TF)

  • Kim G.

    The comment from 2:09am was not from me.

    mom of three ( 8, 5 and 21 months )

  • Billy Reno

    I’ve already started penning the “Law & Order” episode based on this story.

  • Kate

    “Comment from Heights
    Time: December 7, 2009, 2:23 pm

    While I may have wanted to slap an inconsiderate parent or two there is no excuse to put a hand on another person unless your life is on the line.”

    Yes, I’m sure you’re perfect and have never ever hit another person in your entire life.

  • tim

    wow. Kate’s a winner. According to her logic, we all lose it every now and then, so it’s cool. Let the murderers and rapists go free, everyone makes mistakes every now and again.

  • tim

    oh, and btw, I came here through Fark, and I have to say, you all wear your “Brooklyn Heights” pride like a frickin merit-badge. Could that sense of entitlement possibly lead to a ridiculous head-slap by a fellow heights resident? hmmmmmmm…


    “Comment from James
    Time: December 8, 2009, 10:44 pm

    If someone slapped me they would be dead.”


    Run for your lives!!!!!!!

    It is one thing to slap a squawking mini-human or an adult but to proclaim the possibility of resorting to murder and the willingness to take on the possibility of life-long incarceration smacks of pure unadulterated stupidity or an attempt at comedy that is extremely juvenile in nature and suggests that the poster is the proverbial “child in the basement” that may or may not mature into a productive member of society who will assist the never-ending efforts to quiet society by smacking noisy spawn of trashy parents until the little heathens shut up and allow peace to descend upon our villages and vales.

  • grrlgeniusbk

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned– in several countries (UK, Australia, etc.) the term “Slapper” means a loose woman. Include that in the Law & Order ep. which I’m sure they’ll film on location & you may be able to tie in body discovery in the bathroom too.

    Personally I make my coffee at home. I’m not a Starbucks fan but I have no problem with parents who need their java fix. It is a stressful time and maybe the Dad was up all night with the infant cause his wife is away- or in the L&O ep. she is cheating on him with the Slapper!