TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Police arrested a Florida woman over the weekend after she allegedly slapped a Black boy and called him a racial slur at an amusement park in Boca Raton.
The Palm Beach Post reports Haley Zager, 30, of Lantana, was arrested and charged with child abuse on Saturday night after an incident on the go-kart track at Boomers.
According to an arrest report, Zager told police she was stopped at the end of the track when the 11-year-old rear-ended her at full speed.
Zager said the boy would not apologize, so she “tapped” him in the face.
“Zager immediately stated that she shouldn’t have hit a child,” police said in the report.
A Boomers employee told police that Zager, who is white, said, “That (expletive) (expletive) hit me in the back.”
Another boy claimed it wasn’t the child’s fault—another car had caused a chain-reaction crash that sent his car into Zager’s, the newspaper reported.
Police said the boy, who was not identified, had swelling on his left cheek and was treated with an ice pack.
Zager was arrested and charged with child abuse and booked into a Palm Beach County Jail. The charge was upgraded to a second-degree felony due to the racist nature of the incident. Zager is also charged with four counts of drug-possession counts after finding prescription pills in her pocket, the report said. She was released on her own recognizance Monday.
“At Boomers parks, we value being a family fun center inclusive to guests of all backgrounds. We are saddened that one of our guests did not possess these same values and we do not condone physical or verbal abuse amongst guests,” the park said in a statement. “We are appreciative of our staff and the police and fire rescue officers who acted swiftly to diffuse the situation.”
Boomers told the newspaper that it had invited the boy and his family to a free day at the park.