Man tries to kidnap girl at Ga. Walmart

Ex-con grabbed 7-year-old girl; she screamed, fought back

BREMEN, Ga. - Surveillance video shows a man trying to abduct a 7-year-old girl in a north Georgia Walmart.

It happened in Bremen, just outside Atlanta. The man, who was arrested just after the incident, was out on parole for manslaughter.

The girl's parents said they can't imagine what would've happened if he didn't let her go.

"I was looking at Bratz and princess stuff and fairy stuff," Brittany Baxter said.

Brittany said her toy shopping was interrupted when a man grabbed her, tried to put his hand over her mouth and steal her away. She remembered her stranger-danger training.

"Yeah, I was just like trying to do like this and kick as hard as I can," Brittany said.  

"She said that a man had tried to kidnap her, had picked her up and put his hand over her mouth and she was kicking and screaming," her mom said. "He dropped her and then ran out. It's chilling to know how quick something can happen. It actually sent chills up when I saw that."

Police wasted no time in looking at Walmart's video, which not only recorded the suspect, but also his getaway car. He was pulled over about 10 miles away.

Thomas Woods, 25, a recently released state inmate, matched the video, but denied being in Walmart.

When a reporter caught up with Woods and asked him what he did inside the store, he responded, "I didn't bother nobody. I was never there."

Woods was charged with attempted kidnapping. Brittany's parents are happy she remembered that stranger-danger training.

"If this can help save another kid, then that would help save somebody else," Brittany's mom said. "You try to get away and go tell somebody that you trust."

Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson talked about what someone should do if they witness an attempted abduction like this.

"Adults, if they witness something like this, they should, without making physical contact, should follow this individual to see what is actually happening, if this is a parent disciplining a child, or contact security of the store or contact police," Jefferson said. "Let them know something is going on, but you're not really sure, involving a child and an adult."

Some parents said they can sense if another child is in danger.

"As parents, we know when a child is in trouble and not in trouble," Christopher Harris said. "There is a big difference between a spanking and a child wanting something than a child really in trouble with someone trying to abduct her."

Jefferson said there may be cases where someone should go grab the child away from the abductor.

"If you feel compelled enough, if you witness this adult possibly hurting this child, the child is clearly in distress, clearly trying to get away, and yes, it's OK for you to intercede if you feel compelled to do that," Jefferson said. "Now, you take a risk in doing that because the person doing it may decide to retaliate against you."

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