The Houston Police Department’s Homicide division is investigating an attempted abduction of a 14-month-old girl that was captured on a local grocery store’s surveillance system.
Florence Monauer, 33, was in H-Mart, a Korean grocery store on Bellaire Boulevard on Oct. 15 when a man attempted to pull her daughter, Emery, out of a shopping cart while her back was turned.
Monauer, an attorney, said that the man was unable to get away with her child, because the little girl was strapped into a seat cover, which was strapped to the cart.
“She was attached to the shopping cart cover and I think if it weren’t for that cover he probably would have taken off with her altogether,” Monauer told ABC 13 .
Monauer said the man didn’t say anything to her, but said to the baby: “aww, I was just trying to take you while your mom wasn’t looking,” according to a post on her personal Facebook page.
Monauer said that it was the first time she had encountered the man, adding that he had previously spoken to the baby when they first came into the aisle, then left.
Monauer said in a Facebook post that although she was taken aback by the man’s actions, she interpreted it as “an overly-friendly guy.”
“I was conditioned to be nice to people,” she told KHOU. “I don’t want to falsely accuse someone if in case this guy was just awkward and didn’t understand boundaries.”
However, she said it was when she replayed the events in her head that she realized that a potentially dangerous ending was thwarted, prompting her to call the authorities.
“He didn’t have a shopping cart, no merchandise,” Monauer said. “The more I thought about it, the more creeped out I felt.”
She added, “For me, the crime of attempting to kidnap someone was completed the moment when he picked up my child with my back turned and without my consent.”
Monauer described the man as being a heavy-set Caucasian man who had a thick accent. On the surveillance footage, he wore a salmon-colored polo shirt, a pair of silver shorts, and smelled heavily of cologne, wrote Monauer.
A spokesperson for the police department confirmed by phone to Epoch Times that an investigation is underway.