Catherine Ferreira struggled to defend herself from a brutal beating while her 2-year old son looked on, along with a crowd of witnesses who seized the moment with their camera phones.

The 27-year old Salem, New Jersey mother was attacked by a one-time coworker, who believed Ferreira spread rumors about her being romantically involved with a supervisor.

Authorities believe 25-year old Latia Harris felt the gossip jeopardized her job.

In stunning eyewitness video, Harris is pictured hovering over Ferreira, pummeling the mom while she lay defenseless on her back in the grass.  Ferreira's young son can be seen attempting to break up the fight, only to be verbally threatened by the attacker.  All the while, bystanders capture the incident on camera phones, instead of stepping in to help or call police.

Ferreira suffered a broken nose, black eyes, and a mild concussion.
Harris is reportedly an employee of the nearby Salem McDonalds.

Jim Burlaga, the owner and operators of that McDonalds where Harris worked, released the following statement:

"I am aware of the incident involving one of my employees earlier this week. I am extremely disturbed by this kind of behavior and it goes against the values and standards that I expect from my employees in my restaurants. This employee will not be serving customers pending this important police investigation and I'm fully cooperating with the local police in this matter."

Harris has not shown up for work since the beating and remains wanted by police.

She faces two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of making terroristic threats, reports.

Shame on those who didn't step in to stop the commotion.  The victim's life was in imminent danger while her baby looked on.  Those people will be directly responsible if that child is irreversibly traumatized by what he witnessed.