Tips lead to woman seen hitting child at zoo

An image from the Oregon Zoo taken from surveillance footage of a woman authorities believed may have abused a girl near the zoo's penguin exhibit. (April 11, 2013)
An image from the Oregon Zoo taken from surveillance footage of a woman authorities believed may have abused a girl near the zoo's penguin exhibit. (April 11, 2013)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A woman who witnesses said kicked a young girl, hit her in the head and pushed her into a cement wall at the Oregon Zoo Tuesday afternoon was found Friday after numerous tips from the public.

The incident happened around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday  and the Oregon Zoo released surveillance footage of the woman leaving the park.

Originally, authorities said the incident happened on Wednesday.

The woman lives in Canby and is the mother of the child who was hit, authorities said.

The PPB worked with the Canby Police Department, the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Clackamas County Child Protective Service on the case.

The Department of Human Services is now following up.

A witness reportedly observed a woman “yelling profanities at a small child then kick the child in the side, knocking her to the ground,” the Portland police said in a release. “The witness told police that the child, approximately a 3-year-old girl, got up and walked towards a bench crying. … The woman followed the child and smacked her on the side of the head, knocking her to the ground again.”

The witness told police she confronted the woman, who replied using obscenities before walking toward the Zoo exit. As the woman walked away she reportedly pushed the child into a cement wall.

“It’s a child,” stunned zoo visitor Reynolda Hall told KOIN 6 News. “It’s a human, innocent child.”

The child victim was wearing a purple jacket and pink pants.

Authorities said Oregon Zoo Security was notified, but were unable to locate the woman and child before they left the park. She was described as a white female in her mid-20s, 5-feet-6 inches tall and 160 pounds with blonde hair.

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