CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau Police are continuing their search for a suspect wanted for sucker punching a 12-year-old boy Friday night in Cape Girardeau.
Police said they have identified the suspect and have made multiple attempts to locate and take him into custody.
A formal warrant has now been issued on the suspect, Cedric Charles Moore, Jr., a 27 year-old male from Cape Girardeau.
Officers have traveled to the suspect’s residence and various additional locations he is known to frequent; however, they have been met with a lack of cooperation from the suspect’s friends and family.
The public has understandably expressed a desire to see Moore charged with a hate crime for this heinous crime. In accordance with state statutes, this charge would only apply if the assault was categorized to a lesser degree, which would not be in the best interest of seeking true justice for the victim.
Officers with the Cape Girardeau Police Department are continuing to survey locations that Moore may be located. Anyone harboring Moore should know they may be criminally charged for their actions.
The search for the suspect began Friday night after a 12-year-old boy, peacefully dancing and performing on Main Street near Independence Street, was violently punched from behind.
The incident was captured on video during a Facebook Live.
According to police, a dark colored sports utility vehicle abruptly stopped and a black male passenger got out of the car.
The passenger quickly came over behind the dancing 12-year-old and punched him in the head.
Police say the juvenile was violently punched with extreme force in an unprovoked attack.
The 12-year-old boy then fell to the ground and began bleeding from the head wound, as the suspect ran back into the vehicle. The vehicle quickly took off from the area.
The 12-year-old was joined by another boy and an adult who were dancing during the night time hours as part of a performance around 11:40 p.m.
The boys mom is speaking out about the incident.
Stephanie Hagler said she’s used to her son Ethan going out with the fingerprint urban dance studio team. “He went to go hang out with his friends and do what he’s done a dozen times,” Hagler said.
But she said she didn’t expect this; “I got there and there was blood and people everywhere.”
Hagler is talking about this video showing a man getting out of his vehicle and punching her 12-yr-old son. ”He has a concussion his head still u hurts pretty badly he get’s dizzy when he stands up too fast,” Hagler said.
She said she hates to see her son hurting. "This is what he dedicates his life too you know he does homework so that he can go to dance."
Dance instructor Michael Curry saw the whole thing unfold. “It was totally disrespectful for a grown man to want harm a student trying to do something positive,” he said.
And Curry tells me the other kid in the video is still shaken to even leave the house. ”It was really tragic seeing my kid have to go through that or even my other kid watch it,” he said.
Stephanie Hagler said, she is grateful for all the support Ethan’s received much of it from complete strangers.
“I was shocked to see that anybody really cared I just most assumed the people that I knew and Michael knew would see and world react to it but I never expected to be so many people,” she said.
Now she wants what’s best for her son, and that means getting back to what he loves. “He’s made it very clear that his dance career is not over,” she said.
The juvenile victim was transported to the hospital and is recovering.
Police said the victim was able to tell officers at the hospital that he did not know the suspect and he along with his friends did not have any disputes that would have led to this incident.
“This is a cowardly and disgusting act of inexcusable violence on one of our public streets and the Cape Girardeau Police would like to ensure that this suspect is safely apprehended,” Cape Girardeau Police Sgt. Joey Hann said.
Moore is being charged with Felony Assault in the 2nd Degree and Felony Child Endangerment in the 1st Degree due to the age of the victim and the violence of the act.
Moore’s bond has been set at $50,000.00 cash only.
Anyone with information on Moore’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Cape Girardeau Police Department.