Investigators have received tips from the community, but they're still trying to identify a woman seen kicking and slapping a young girl at the Oregon Zoo.
Officers were called to the zoo at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday. A witness said she saw a woman in her mid-20s yelling profanities at a girl, likely around 3 years old.
The witness told police the woman kicked the child in the side, knocking her to the ground. The little girl ran toward a bench crying and the witness said the woman followed and slapped the girl on the side of her head, knocking the child to the ground again.
The witness said she confronted the woman, who replied with obscenities and then headed toward the exit.
Police said as the woman walked away, she was seen pushing the child into a cement wall.
"If she does that in public, imagine what she does in private," said Tammy Long, another parent visiting the Oregon Zoo.
Zoo security workers were notified, but did not locate the woman. They did, however, retrieve surveillance video of the woman and girl leaving the zoo, along with another child and adult woman.
The suspect is described as a white woman in her mid 20s, 5 feet 6 inches tall and 160 pounds with blonde hair. She was wearing a dark-colored puffy jacket and dark-colored pants.
"She might have been out of control towards anyone, including me," said parent Heidi Barker. "Especially an outsider not involved in the situation. I'm sure she would have felt threatened. That's probably why I would have gone to security instead of confronting her myself."
The girl was wearing a purple jacket and pink pants.
The Portland Police Bureau Child Abuse Team is asking for the public's help. If you recognize the woman or the child, call police at 503-823-0090.
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Thursday, July 31 2014 11:57 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:57:19 GMT
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