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Homeless Woman Charged With Attacking 2-Year-Old Girl At Store

By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Michael Rosenfield Michael Rosenfield
Michael Rosenfield is the New Hampshire Bureau Chief for CBS Boston’s...
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MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – Two-year-old Sonya Lambert is back home after a frightening attack outside a Market Basket supermarket in Manchester, New Hampshire on Wednesday.

Sonya’s mother Krystan had been holding her daughter’s hand and pushing a grocery cart to the car when a stranger started to assault her little girl.

“She was just swinging at her,” said Lambert. “Trying to hit her, circling around me.”

But a fellow shopper, Elizabeth Andrews, jumped in to fend off the attacker, later identified as 48-year-old Lorraine Augustine.

“I saw the kid hit the ground,” said Andrews.

Andrews wedged herself between the child and the woman, who started to use one of the girl’s pink boots as a weapon according to witnesses and police.

“She was actively clawing at the baby on the ground,” said Andrews. “Arms flailing, and trying to drag her. I thought she was trying to kidnap her to be honest.”

Sonya would be checked out at the emergency room and seems to have already forgotten about the violent encounter.

“I’m very grateful to the woman who stepped in and the employees who rushed out of Market Basket to help,” said Lambert. “For all I know the woman could have had a weapon and it could have been so much worse.”

Two-year-old Sonya recuperating after being attacked by stranger in supermarket parking lot. (Photo by Michael Rosenfield-WBZ-TV)

Two-year-old Sonya recuperating after being attacked by a stranger in a supermarket parking lot. (Photo by Michael Rosenfield-WBZ-TV)

Sonya would have a split lip and a bruise on her forehead but has recovered.

Augustine, who is homeless, has been charged with two counts of assault.

Court documents show Augustine refused to cooperate when police arrived on the scene and would only say “I plead the 5th.”

Police say the attack was random and unprovoked.

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