A woman saved her daughter from an attempted abduction, according to deputies in Greenville County, South Carolina.
Authorities claim the suspect, Robert Daniel Mistretta, 66, got caught with something he ripped from the child.
The defendant faces charges of kidnapping and petit larceny.
This incident happened Thursday after 7 a.m. near Lily Street and White Horse Road. The mother had been walking her children to school.
“Deputies received information that the man, later identified as Mistretta, approached the family and grabbed the child before attempting to pull her away,” the sheriff’s office said. “Thankfully, the mother was able to gain control of the child and walk away to safety without any injuries.”
Law enforcement canvassed the area. They found Mistretta, matching him to the suspect description, they said.
Not only that, but they allegedly discovered him with the girl’s student I.D. — he had torn it from her lanyard during the struggle.
Deputies took him to the Greenville County Detention Center to wait for a bond hearing on charges of kidnapping and petit larceny.
The judge reportedly denied Misretta bond. Kidnapping is a violent offense, and he was already out on bond, according to WYFF.
Local records show he was charged on May 1 with indecent exposure. He has no attorney of record in that matter. The court simply describes him as pro se.
“Everything is safe at the school,” Beth Farmer, the principal of Westcliffe Elementary School, said in an alert to parents, according to WYFF. “I want to let you know about an incident that occurred off-campus this morning. While a parent was walking their child to school, a man approached and tried to grab the child. Thankfully, the parent was able to intervene and keep the child safe. Law enforcement was immediately notified, and they have the suspect in custody. While this occurred off campus, we want to make sure you’re aware of what happened and remind parents to stay vigilant while on the way to school. The safety of students and staff is our top priority. If you have any questions, please reach out to the front office.”
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