The mother of the 15-year-old victim was apparently listed as a witness in a criminal case. The attacker, also a teenage girl, is now in jail.
Sheriff's deputies incorrectly identified the victim as the baby's mother. She is the baby's older sister.
ABC11 was the only station on the scene and shot video of the commotion.
The 16-year-old attacker is facing charges of assault on a child, assault and battery, and intimidating a witness.
The incident happened when the Justice Center was packed with people.
The child who was hit is 15 months old. As he was crying in his sister's arms, his mother was on the ground being handcuffed.
Seconds earlier, video from the Justice Center surveillance cameras shows officers rushing out of the courtroom to separate the mother from the teenager. The teen attacker was identified as 16-year-old Destiny Lynette Cross.
As officers tried to make sense of the chaotic scene, an eyewitness told ABC11 Cross had attacked the teen with the baby, punching both the girl and the child.
That's when surveillance video shows the children's mother coming to the rescue.
The commotion invited the attention of police, deputies, and others in the Justice Center. Courthouse veterans have certainly seen fights before, but none could recall seeing a baby get punched.
Some eyewitnesses categorize the attack as downright frightening.
"That was scary," said eyewitness Kristy Creager. "I felt so bad for that poor child. I mean, because the one lady holding the baby is just standing there and not knowing what to do, trying to protect the child. And, you know, she's getting hit in the face and the poor baby's getting hit at the same time. Luckily, the [mother] did come in."
Creager, a mother of two, supports the mom's physical attempt to stop Cross's attack.
"I would have done the same thing, as a mom of two kids," Creager told ABC11. "If you are hitting my child, I'm going to come after you too."
Cross is being booked at the Wake County Detention Center, and her bond is set at $50,000. She will be back in court on Thursday.
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