kidnap screenshot

Was This an Attempted Kidnapping? Or Not?

Folks — I can’t tell if I’m overly trusting or if the world is the opposite, so please weigh in:
The story is that a man, 64, shopping with his wife at a Florida Walmart, grabbed a 4-year-old’s wrist and attempted to kidnap him. Here’s the video:
The man supposedly told the child, “Let’s go.”
The sheriff is quoted as saying: “I never want anyone in Lee County to feel unsafe, especially going on a simple shopping trip. My team will stop at NOTHING to ensure criminals like this face the consequences of their actions.”
My real question(s): Was this man really trying to abduct a boy who was standing near his sister and mom? From a store filled with security cameras and humans and the boy’s own family? Was his wife going to be just fine with a new, rambunctious passenger in the car? Is she just resigned to her husband’s offbeat hobby? Or is she a kidnapper, too?
OR: Are law enforcement and the media (even all the way over in England) so obsessed with stranger-danger that they believe this admittedly weird incident was an actual crime? Or are willing to pretend it was, for the sake of a “good story”?
The commenters at The Daily Mail (yes, yes, The Daily Mail — I know), mostly believe the man was a kidnapper/trafficker. Prison for life is about the most lenient punishment they suggest. But once in a while someone writes something like this:
Please , innocent till proven guilty. Unpopular opinion but this guy had no intention of capturing the child. His wife is there and she is not moving at all nor does she try to run away. The old man could have dementia . There is no video showing them profiling the child and the parent family member of that child was in close proximity. Writing with a perspective of someone dealing with someone with dementia patients.
Maybe he was just joking. There hasn’t been a trial yet. It’s innocent until proven guilty. If he really wanted to take a kid he’d be less likely to do it right next to the family and his own wife watching.
So: What do you think? I’m truly curious! – L.

7 Responses to Was This an Attempted Kidnapping? Or Not?

  1. David DeLugas January 3, 2024 at 2:11 pm #

    Need a LOT more information. But, I do lean toward figuring the man might have spotted the child misbehaving or being loud and was feigning “you’re in trouble” and the claim the man said something along the lines of “let’s go” . . . well, similarly not logical. But misdeeds are often not logical. I’d prefer the Sheriff and everyone held back and said/wrote “the mother was concerned so we detained the man and we are investigating whether or not any crime occurred.” Why not do that? Oh, right, not as interesting.

  2. Christopher Byrne January 3, 2024 at 2:27 pm #

    Oh, for heaven’s sake. What a bunch of nonsense. Could be grandpa was trying to corral a kid who was running around and grabbed the wrong kid. Occam’s Razor suggests something benign.

    And yet, here we are indulging in the danger fetish that seems to have gripped so many parents. It’s the thrill of danger and the relief of escape, but it was probably never real in the first place. Yet people get to add a little spice to their lives, as it were, by thinking they have escaped something dire and dangerous and that they alone have saved their children from all manner of horrors.

    The long-term implications of something like this–and the fear fetishizing–is the real danger. Lack of trust, over-inflated sense of one’s power to protect and rescue and the hyper vigilance it creates. That’s not healthy for anyone.

  3. Bruce January 3, 2024 at 4:02 pm #

    I agree with innocent until proven guilty. The dementia hypothesis is plausible. But this definitely needs to be investigated. No one in their right mind would *ever* even (deliberately) touch a kid, let alone grab him. And it’s really irresponsible of the Daily Mail to present it the way they did. They’re just nakedly pandering to people’s hysteria.

  4. Ellen E Wilson January 3, 2024 at 5:47 pm #

    Nobody with any common sense would behave the way this suspect did. Nevertheless, it’s certainly possible that this man doesn’t have any common sense. His wife said he likes to tease children. Bad behavior for sure. Still, all else aside, the authorities surely need to explain the ridiculous “false imprisonment” charge, given that nothing of the sort occurred.

  5. ClemenceDane January 3, 2024 at 8:37 pm #

    I’d like to know what the man gave as the reason for grabbing the kid and I’d further like to hear what hsi wife says,. Completely agree on the hysteria and jumping to conclusions,

  6. Steve N January 4, 2024 at 11:21 am #

    Going back to my comment from November 9, I think that most people just WANT this to be an attempted kidnapping, because that allows them to revel in the excitement and jump on their moral high horse to condemn this man (who of course needs condemnation if it’s a real kidnapping) and virtue signal to the internet world about how they’d like to punish him quite a bit more severely than the previous commenter and so they must be more moral and just tougher.

    Almost certainly not a kidnapping attempt.

  7. The Mad Guesser January 4, 2024 at 1:32 pm #

    That store must be a child trafficking operation because the perp was dragging his victim towards his shopping cart in the checkout line. The customer on the left wanted to buy the kid too and took a flying leap at him and screamed “I saw him first!!” But the old man in his pink sex trafficker pants snatched him in the nick of time to avoid a tug of war.