PHOENIX — A Phoenix mother has been sentenced to probation after punching her 7-year-old son for not being a good enough lookout for his shoplifting grandma.
Rebecca Gonzales, 28, pleaded guilty to child abuse and was sentenced to three years probation.
On April 19, 2019, Phoenix police responded to a Walmart near 75th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road for a suspected child abuse call. Court documents state Gonzales came to the store to pick up her 7-year-old son, who was being used by his grandmother as a lookout while she shoplifted.
Officers saw Gonzales slap and punch the child in the face when she was in the parking lot. The child told police that he was hit because "he didn't watch out for his grandma good enough." Police say the child's mouth was bleeding when officers saw him.
Court records show that Gonzales will also need to complete "Anger management counseling."
According to court documents, visits with her son have been supervised by the Arizona Department of Child safety and have gone well, and she has also been meeting her probation requirements.
Upon successful completion of her probation, her conviction may be reduced to a misdemeanor.