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Girl, 9, punched by man while walking home from school

Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 11:55 AM CDT
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HOUSTON (KPRC) - A man was captured on video in Texas punching a 9-year-old girl as she walked home from school with her cousin.

Police arrested a man in connection to the May 26 attack.

Romina’s mother, Yvette Esquino, said she has a sense of closure following the man being detained.

“It was unsettling that somebody could be on the street and could do this to somebody else,” she said.

Yvette Esquino’s 9-year-old daughter Romina and 21-year-old niece Maria Gonzalez are practically sisters.

“I love Romina so much, so it felt really bad,” Gonzalez said.

The duo’s routine 10-minute walk home from school turned into a nightmare. Surveillance footage captured a man walking their direction.

He approached the girls, screaming obscenities. He passed Gonzalez and then turned and punched Romina with a closed fist in her cheek, her mother said.

“Romina came to me to hug me, and I just yelled at him,” Gonzalez said.

Her family was outraged and heartbroken.

“Assaulting a child is just a whole other level,” Yvette Esquino said.

Her mother rushed over, and a witness stopped to help and call police. A couple of days after the incident, Romina had a bruise on her face that was still sore but feeling better.

“I didn’t understand why he punched me, and I was kind of confused” Romina said. “But then it started hurting, so I cried.”

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