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Sentenced to 7 years in prison for punching a 12-year-old boy who was dancing on a street corner

A Missouri man was sentenced to seven years in prison for assaulting a 12-year-old boy who was dancing on the sidewalk. Cape Girardeau resident Cedric Charles Moore Jr pleaded guilty to second degree assault on May 10, 2021.

The incident, which took place in the summer of 2020, was filmed. In the video, Moore can be seen getting out of a black SUV near the intersection of Main Street and Independence Street in downtown Cape Girardeau. He quietly approaches the young dancer, Ethan Hagler, who was accompanied by his teacher, Michael Curry, and another boy. Without warning, Moore throws a punch at the boy’s face. Curry and his friend chase after Moore as he quickly retreats to the waiting SUV, which then drives away.

At the time of the assault on Hagler, Moore was already serving probation for a prior felony domestic assault conviction in 2019. In addition to the seven-year prison sentence for the punching incident, The Smoking Gun reported that Moore received four separately. -year in prison for violating the conditions of his parole. The two sentences will be served concurrently.

The viral video of the assault shocked viewers and prompted generous people on social media to raise nearly $17,000 for the dance studio and any medical expenses stemming from the attack. Hagler, a dancer at Fingerprint Dance Studio, suffered a bloody nose and a minor concussion, but was treated at the hospital and released a short time later.

While the public expressed a desire to charge Moore with a hate crime, authorities decided against it, as it would result in a less severe sentence. It was determined that seeking true justice for the victim was the best course of action.

Moore had a criminal record, including convictions for domestic assault, endangering the welfare of a child and driving under the influence.

The Cape Girardeau Police Department explained that charging him with a hate crime would not be in the best interest of seeking justice for the victim, according to state statutes.


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