Man who kicked 1-yr-old in the back while yelling racial slurs released from jail hours after arrest
A Kansas man accused of attacking a toddler in the back at a grocery store last week was released from jail only a few days later. Sedgwick County Jail records show that 31-year-old Riff Trace, who allegedly kicked a one-year-old black child in the back while wearing cowboy boots and yelling that the boy was a "n*****" at a Wichita supermarket, was no longer on the inmate roster.
According to KWCH, deputies from the Wichita Police Department arrested Trace at an east Wichita Dillons store in what was described as a "racially motivated bias crime," with an arrest report stating the "battery was bias and racially motivated."
They were called to the store at the 3000 block of East Douglas at about 7:20 am in the morning of Sunday, December 23 on reports of an assault. They learned that Trace had walked into the store and kicked the one-year-old victim in the back, causing the child to fall on to the floor.
Police said Trace did this while yelling obscenities and racial slurs and that, when they arrived, the 31-year-old was being held on the ground by citizens. Speaking about the incident at the time, the toddler's mother, Lashantai Whitaker, said, "We were barely in the store and (Trace) kicked him in his back. All I heard was a loud thud and my daughter screaming."
She said Trace tried to get away but was stopped by another customer who tackled him. She said her son was not injured but that the 31-year-old "could have done serious damage." Whitaker admitted she was puzzled by the events but that Trace served time for his actions, saying, "What grown person, I mean, even if you do have that much hate for someone... I mean, why would you attack a baby?"
Trace was subsequently charged with battery, "physical contact in a rude manner," resisting arrest, interfering with an officer, and ethnic intimidation. He was suspected of using alcohol, stated the police report, and was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail. However, a few hours later, he was released on a $3,500 bond that involved no special conditions.
The news came as a big surprise, especially because of Trace's long history of run-ins with the law — in fact, he had been arrested and released by the Wichita police just two days before the grocery store incident. The Heavy reported that the 31-year-old has arrests and convictions that include drug and violent crimes beginning 16 years ago and that span three states.
The charges against him include grand theft auto, driving under influence, drug possession, domestic violence, and failure to report to probation and parole officers following his release from jails and psychiatric hospitals.
Even without taking his history into account, police shouldn't have released Trace considering he is currently on probation on a felony methamphetamine case from Oklahoma. Him walking out free has the victim's family concerned for the well-being of others.
The toddler's grandmother, Yolanda Frierson, said she was concerned the 31-year-old is now free to attack another child and could "run" from his charges. "I don’t understand: He’s out just hours after he attacked a baby," she said.
He will be facing his most recent charges at the Wichita Municipal Court in the coming weeks.