A former New York model was formally charged with felony attempted aggravated battery on Monday, after he allegedly attacked a 1-year-old toddler inside a Kansas grocery store in December.
Wichita Eagle reports that Trace Riff, a former highly-sought after model who appeared alongside some of the most famous models in the industry, allegedly kicked 1-year-old Jhavii Fry on December 23, in an unprovoked attack inside a Dillons grocery store in Wichita.
According to witnesses, the little boy held his 11-year-old sister’s hand as they walked in the store with their pregnant mother, Lashantai Whitaker. At some point, Riff allegedly began spewing out racist words in a hate-filled rant, while repeating he was a white supremacist. He then walked behind the boy and kicked him, according to court documents.
A bystander who saw the incident tackled Riff to ground, according to Whitaker. Police arrived shortly after.
Man arrested for kicking toddler during racist rant makes court appearance; In separate case, former model Trace Riff formally charged with drug possession, as well as for unlawfully going inside a vacant apartment.: https://t.co/66Ix4hHN7y #KWCH12 pic.twitter.com/n0t5AOhuZ4
— KWCH Eyewitness News (@KWCH12) January 7, 2019
Although the kick was hard enough for the boy to fall down, he apparently wasn’t physically injured since a thick coat he wore padded his fall. In turn, the suspect has been charged with “attempted” aggravated battery. He’s also been charged with several other crimes, including felony interference with law enforcement after he allegedly struggled with responding officers, and two counts of disorderly conduct.
Riff was also charged with trespassing and possession of methamphetamine in a separate incident that reportedly occurred on January 3. Wichita authorities said they found him inside an empty apartment with meth in his possession.
Riff appeared in front of a Sedgwick County judge Monday morning via a video monitor, where he reportedly mumbled incoherently as he listened. When asked if he understood his charges, however, he clearly indicated that he did.
The suspect’s grandmother, Twila LaRue, told the Eagle that although Riff always had problems with attention issues, he changed for the worst once he started using drugs. Prior to his alleged drug use, Riff had a glamorous career as an international model who did work for Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and other popular fashion companies.
“We’re just not a family that is like that. That’s not who we are, or who Trace is, either. He didn’t come from that kind of hatred and prejudice,” 74-year-old LaRue said. “To incarcerate him is not helping. What I was hoping from this is Trace would be able to get help.”
The grandmother reportedly said Riff’s underlying condition that causes his outbursts is Huntington’s disease and that he has a “delusional feeling of entitlement” from his days as a “pretty boy when the modeling agencies were just after him.”
Riff remains behind bars on a $50,000 bond amount.
Meanwhile, the local chapter of the NAACP has gotten involved with the case and indicated Riff should be charged with a hate crime.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Trace Riff/Police Handout; MySpace]