5 Fast Facts: Missouri Man Sucker Punches Dancing 12-Year-Old Boy in Cape Girardeau
Cedric Charles Moore, Jr. has been identified as the man accused of attacking a 12-year-old boy who was dancing on the sidewalk in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on July 3. Moore approached the child from behind and sucker-punched him in the head without any warning or provocation, video of the incident showed.
Moore left the scene immediately after throwing the punch. Police explained in a statement that Moore faces two felony charges for the attack. Officers issued a warrant for Moore’s arrest and he turned himself into Scott County Sheriff’s Office deputies on July 8.
Court records in Missouri show Moore was on probation for domestic assault at the time of the July 3 attack.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Moore Was On the Scene For Less Than 20 Seconds
The attack happened around 11:40 p.m. on July 3 on Main Street near Independence Street in downtown Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Police said the 12-year-old boy was with his dance instructor, Michael Curry, and another student at the time. As the video showed, the victim was practicing his moves on the sidewalk while Curry and a second child sat by the audio equipment. The video was captured on Facebook Live.
Moore pulled up to the sidewalk in what police described as a dark-colored sports utility vehicle. The license plate was not visible in the video. Moore was recorded stepping out of the passenger side of the vehicle. He did his own dance on the sidewalk, with his arms in the air, as he approached the boy.
Moore then hit the boy in the back of the head “with extreme force,” as police described it, which caused the child to fall to the ground. Curry yelled “Hey!” and chased after Moore, who jumped back into the vehicle before it sped away. The entire exchange took less than 20 seconds.
2. The Boy Suffered a Concussion
The 12-year-boy looked stunned after he was knocked to the ground. He quickly sat up and watched the vehicle drive away before touching his hand to his face. He stood up as bystanders came over to check on him. He leaned over a couple of times and appeared to be off-balance.
His mother, Stephanie Hagler, did not witness the attack but was nearby at the time. She told NBC affiliate WPSD-TV that when she arrived, she noticed a “pool of blood” on the sidewalk. Her son’s face and nose were bleeding and someone from one of the businesses in the area had given him ice and paper towels.
Hagler said her son suffered a concussion. He was treated at a local hospital and was expected to be ok. But she said he was confused about why he was attacked. He’s a good kid. He did not deserve this,” Hagler said. “He did not do anything but try to have a good time and try to make a good time for other people.”
3. Moore Surrendered to Deputies Five Days After the Attack
Missouri court records show Moore has been charged on two counts: Felony Assault in the 2nd degree and Endangering The Welfare Of A Child in the 1st degree. Moore’s bond has already been set at $50,000 cash only. Court records show that if he is able to post bond, Moore would not be permitted to leave the state, would be prohibited from owning any firearms and would be ordered to stay away from the victim and any witnesses.
The victim’s dance teacher, Michael Curry, told TMZ he had been hopeful Moore would be apprehended. “Anyone who’s willing to hit a kid like that, there’s no telling what they’re going to do next.”
4. Moore Is Currently on Probation For Domestic Assault
Moore was arrested in early 2019 and charged with third-degree domestic assault, which is a felony. Missouri court records show Moore was represented by a public defender and initially entered a “not guilty” plea.
He agreed to plead guilty on April 22, 2019. He was released on bond and was prohibited from having any contact with the victim. The judge also forbade Moore from going within 500 feet of the victim’s home or workplace.
Moore was sentenced to five years of supervised probation.
Moore was also arrested in late 2013 for driving while intoxicated. Court records show he was sentenced to two years probation. He was also ordered to complete a substance abuse program.
5. The Boy’s Teacher Said No One at the Dance Studio Knew Moore
Moore didn’t know the 12-year-old victim, according to the child’s dance teacher. Curry told the Southeast Missourian that no one at his dance studio, including other teachers and students, had any history or knowledge of Moore prior to the attack.
Curry, who owns the Fingerprint Dance Studio, also told the newspaper that he and his students have been putting on impromptu performances downtown for the past two years. He added to WPSD-TV that the public dancing gives his students the chance to “showcase what we’ve been working on.”
The child’s mother, Stephanie Hagler, also told WLOX-TV that her son has been out with his dance instructor at least a dozen times before without incident. “This is what he dedicates his life too, you know, he does homework so that he can go to dance.”