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Breezy Pt. child hitter avoids jail

Queens Criminal Court Judge Steven Paynter sentenced Donna Harding, 41, of 44 Reid Ave., to a conditional discharge Jan. 30 in Kew Gardens and ordered her to enroll in anger management courses, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Harding, a budget analyst, was warned by the judge that her failure to complete the anger management classes would result in her possibly being jailed, the DA said.

"The defendant has admitted her guilt and acknowledged that she argued loudly in a public space with others present and created a risk of a disturbance," Brown said.

Harding was alleged to have yelled "hateful and offensive language" at the unidentified child and her mother while they were walking near 200 Oceanside Way, according to the criminal complaint. Five hours after that initial incident at 198 Bedford Ave., Harding again saw the Hispanic child and her mother, allegedly yelled racial slurs at the pair and then took the wagon and hit the child's legs, the district attorney said at the time of the incident.

Brown had said the child sustained bruises, swelling and substantial pain from the attack allegedly committed by Harding.

The judge set a return court date of Feb. 26 in the case, the district attorney said.

Brown, who had originally characterized the incident as a bias crime, initially charged Harding with assault, aggravated harassment, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. Harding had been facing up to four years in prison if convicted, Brown said.

But most of those charges were dropped following the plea deal and Harding was released on the condition that she take the anger management courses, the DA said.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by calling 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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