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Mother upset the man who punched her child was not arrested

Posted at 10:23 PM, Sep 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-22 16:01:18-04

The mother of a Florida child who was punched in the face by an adult is wondering why the man was not arrested. 

“He was screaming at us, cursing at us, calling us the 'n-word' and he came down to the middle of his yard, and I was like 'who are you talking too,' and he said 'come within arm's reach and I'll show you who I'm talking to,'" said Malikai Villatte, the 12-year-old boy who was punched.  

A picture of Malikai after the incident showed his two front teeth were knocked out. The young boy also received stitches to heal a gash on his mouth. 

“When I realized my teeth were dangling in my mouth it was kind of shocking, I didn't know what was going on," Malikai said. 

“It was like a nightmare, I just knew I had to get there and I had to get there fast," said Malikai's mother Brittany Graham. 

His parents are upset because the man who punched Malikai was not arrested. Lataevion Graham, 13, says he witnessed the incident and claims Cerfalo spat on them after punching Malikai. Graham's father says he wants justice for the children. 

“Where it is okay for an adult to take the law into their own hands, and to strike a kid hard enough to knock out his teeth. Where is that acceptable, in what country is that acceptable?" said Larry Graham. 

According to a Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office incident report, the man who punched Malikai was 27-year-old Vincent Cerfalo.

“Originally this is where the altercation took place, right here," Cerfalo said.

“I told them to back off and if they come on my property I'm going to defend myself. They said, 'you won't hit us, you won't hit us,' and they started to surround me," said Cerfalo. 

He says it all started when he yelled at the kids to get out of the road because they were blocking traffic.

A cellphone video captured the moments after Malikai was punched. Cerfalo claims he was acting in self defense.

“He touched me and I lifted my hand out, and I ended up hitting him. It was not my intention to hit anybody that hard, it was not my intention to knock teeth out or do harm, or cause any kind of trouble,” Cerfalo said.

The children say no one touched Cerfalo at any time during the incident. Cerfalo says he never expected things to escalate to violence. He now plans to press charges against 12-year-old Malikai for assault, which the child’s parents can’t understand. 

“He's not going to jail, nothing is happening to him and he's basically getting away with it right now," Malikai said.

“I want the man in jail," said Brittany Graham.  

The case has been sent to the state attorney’s office, which will determine if a summons will be issued to Malikai for assault.