Teenager Michael Singleton tells CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he understands why his mother slapped him around the head in the middle of the Baltimore riots.
Toya Graham, the so-called “Mom of the Year,” made headlines around the world after a video of her hitting her son went viral.
“I just lost it,” she said after seeing Singleton, 16, with a rock in his hand.
Graham spotted her son in a crowd of teens vandalizing and looting during the Baltimore riots on Monday and cameras captured the moment she confronted and struck the boy.
“I regret going down there and being in that situation when I was supposed to be home,” Singleton told CNN.
“A couple of my friends had been beaten by the police,” he said of his decision to join in. But once he saw his mother—and once she saw him with a brick—the teen knew he was in trouble: “It was just World War III from right there”
Singleton added: “My mom talked to me about it, she was just like what did they do to you? If I ever do go back down there, I’m going to do it in a positive way.”
The unemployed, single mother of six, told CBS This Morning: “I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that.”
The video even drew the attention of Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, who said: “I wish I had more parents who took charge of their kids tonight.”