SAN JOSE -- An 18-year-old woman was arrested after she allegedly hit a 4-year-old girl and her father with a crowbar inside a Walmart late Tuesday morning, police said.

Maria Garate, a San Jose resident, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after she walked into the Walmart, located at 777 Story Road, around 10:59 a.m. and struck the girl and her father, police said.

Garate approached the pair and without warning hit the 4-year-old girl over the head with a crowbar, according to a police statement. Garate attempted to hit the girl again, police said, but the father, who has not been identified, stepped in to protect his daughter and was struck instead.

Maria Garate, 18, was arrested on suspicion of hitting a 4-year-old girl and her father with a crowbar inside a Walmart Wednesday  morning, police said.
Maria Garate, 18, was arrested on suspicion of hitting a 4-year-old girl and her father with a crowbar inside a Walmart Wednesday morning, police said.

Walmart security detained Garate until San Jose police arrived. The girl was taken to an area hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Police did not say why they believe Garate hit the pair or if she had any relation to them.

The incident took place just over a half mile from a well-known homeless encampment known as "the Jungle." Police said they had contacted Garate there before, but they could not confirm Garate was a resident of the encampment and did not say why they had come into contact before.

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