FORT WORTH (CBS11) – It was Itamar Vardi’s day at the Fort Worth Municipal court on Tuesday. He is accused of assault by offensive contact from the incident in December 2016.
Prosecutors say he grabbed an 8-year-old boy, by the back of his neck, because he dropped raisins on the ground, near his house.
The incident put a national spotlight on Fort Worth after police arrested the boy’s mother Jacqueline Craig. The incident was caught on Facebook and police body camera.
Two of Jacqueline Craig’s children testified in court along with a detective from the Crimes Against Children unit who interviewed Vardi after the incident.
The star witness was the 8-year-old boy, who Vardi allegedly grabbed by the back of his neck, forcing him to pick up the raisins he had dropped. He testified that he threw an open packet of raisins to his little brother, who was walking behind him with his sister. The little brother caught the packet but some of the raisins fell on the ground. Those fallen raisins may have been the source of this incident. The trio was walking back home from school.
The 12-year-old sister told the court that when he saw Vardi grab her brother, she ran towards him. She testified, after the boy picked up the raisins and Vardi let him go.
Detective Benjamin Jones, who interviewed Vardi demonstrated in court what Vardi had told him. He testified that Vardi had an open arm on the boy’s right shoulder, showing him the “trash” that he had dropped. Jones also testified that Vardi told him he regretted the incident and wished it hadn’t happened.
Vardi was issued a citation for assault by offensive contact a month after the incident. Vardi has pleaded not guilty.
The trial resumes Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.