A man identified as Nicolas Sternaman is facing serious charges after police reports claim he attempted to kidnap a 4-year-old boy in front of his parents as they were leaving a store. The incident happened on Thursday just before noon at a Miami Beach Pharmacy.
Video footage captured Sternaman as he attempted to snatch the boy, lifting him off the ground by the neck to abduct him. The child’s father immediately jumped on the man, forcing him to release his grip on his son.
The physical altercation continued until Sternaman became free and exited the store, followed by a witness and the boy’s father. According to the police report, the child was visibly shaking and would not let go of his mother’s grasp.
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Zachary Jefferson, a witness, described the incident in a statement to news reporters.
“Everyone was just shocked because it was so quick and it was so fast. The guy just came out of nowhere,” Jefferson said. “I’m like screaming at the guy like stop, stop. Then I see her purse fall and I know she has important things in her purse. So I grabbed it and gave it to her. And I’m like somebody call the cops! Like please.”
He was later arrested by the authorities, and he is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Sternaman is facing several charges, including battery, kidnapping, and aggravated child abuse. He refused to explain his behavior to the police and why he attempted to kidnap the little boy. It was discovered that the suspect had past criminal records.
Miami Beach police had previously arrested him for petit theft on January 3, but he was released on a $150 bond. A trial for the case is set for April 1.
According to the New York Post, this incident comes a month after an 11-year-old Arizona girl escaped a suspected kidnapping as she walked to school on January 26.
The girl was walking to school around 8 a.m. when the suspect, identified as Joseph Leroy Ruiz, pulled his car next to the sidewalk and started following her.
The girl noticed the man following her and began running and screaming for help. According to the police report, the kidnapper chased after her for a short distance before he was scared off and returned to his car to drive away.