My sister called last night with a harrowing story. Her granddaughter was almost kidnapped. The baby, who is only about six months old, was in a shopping cart at Wal-Mart with her mother. Mother was at the checkout and paying her bill when a man came up from behind with a cart. Within moments, he was taking off with both his cart and the cart with the baby. Mother freaked out and chased after the man and gave him the what-for. My sister seemed to indicate that she swore at the guy and asked him what he thought he was doing. His lame answer? “I wanted to see the baby over here.” Yeah, right. Mother was so upset that all she could think to do was leave the store and get home immediately. She put the baby in her vehicle and quickly got into the driver’s seat. A woman came up and tapped on her window and demanded that she put her cart away. Mother told her, “No way!” and explained what happened without getting out of the vehicle. Then she drove home.
Once home, perhaps after telling relatives what had happened, she decided she needed to call Wal-Mart and report the incident. Store employees were very concerned and took her story seriously. (From my sister’s telling of the story, I’m not sure how the checkout person reacted when the incident first took place.) Wal-Mart employees suggested she call the police. She did. An officer worked a double shift and was able to pull the guy over. The man was using an assumed name. Turns out there was a warrant for his arrest in another state and that he had fled prior to being brought in. He had previously been convicted of . . . child porn and rape. [Shudder.]
Upon reflection, Mother did exactly the right things. First, she was attentive enough to notice the man immediately. Next, she opened up a can of whoop-ass on him, causing a scene and getting the baby back. When she was in her vehicle, she did not follow the woman’s order to put her cart back. The woman may have been in cahoots with the man by trying to get Mother to leave her baby. While Mother perhaps should have reported the incident while she was still at the store, her high emotion didn’t make that an immediate priority. Once she had calmed down enough, she followed through with contacting the proper authorities. Kudos also to the officer who worked overtime in order to nab the guy. Thankfully, what could have turned into a horrendous criminal act became merely a scary situation that ended well.