Police in Marietta, Ga., said a man allegedly attempted to abduct a child in a Walmart.
It happened on Saturday shortly before noon inside of a Walmart bathroom, Marietta police said. Michael Beltran, 51, of Marietta allegedly approached a 9-year-old boy and told him that his mother had left him at the store and that the boy needed to come with him.
When Beltran was unsuccessful in his attempts to lure the boy away verbally, police claim that he grabbed him by the arm. Authorities said the child then was able to break free from Beltran and flee to where his mother was elsewhere in the store.
The young boy’s mother immediately called 911 as soon as she learned of the incident. When police responded they met with the boy’s mother. They then were able to quickly locate Beltran, who was still inside of the store and was immediately taken into custody.
Beltran is charged with misdemeanor simple battery and felony kidnapping. He is being held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center in Marietta, a suburb of Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Atlanta television station WXIA reports it is the first child abduction in Marietta for more than five years, the city’s police department said. And less than 1 percent of abductions are from non-family abductors, as this kidnapping attempt was.
The department is urging families to stay vigilant and educate children on child self-defense.