“There was just an altercation where two people were grabbing the same child. And she’s saying he was trying to abduct her child,” said one 911 caller.
Another caller said, “I don’t know, I just heard somebody screaming, saying, ‘Watch your kids, watch your kids.'”
Wednesday afternoon, 26-year-old D’Vonta Robbins paced outside the Leland Walmart wearing a white t-shirt.
At that moment, a mother and her seven-year-old son came out of the store and walked to a back corner.
“And he was in the cart, you know, just pleasant,” said witness, Susan Thomas.
Robbins approached, and in a matter of seconds police said he grabbed the boy and ran. He slowed down when he ran into a passing grocery cart and trashcan, enough for the boy’s mom to grab her son and wrestle him away.
“And she was screaming at the top of her voice,” Thomas said. “It was a real scream, and she was screaming 911.”
According to Leland Police Chief, Brad Shirley, Robbins had no connection with the child or the mother. It’s something he’s never seen in his time policing.
“Maybe there’s a custody dispute or there’s an issue or there’s a relationship between the child and the adult of some sort,” Shirley explained. “But that was not established here.”
Some 911 calls shed light on what potentially happened. One woman said she’d heard Robbins had gone into the store with another woman, and mistook the seven-year-old boy.
“The gentleman thought that the little girl was the one that belongs to this woman following him around,” the caller said.
Robbins then wandered the parking lot, and attempted to flee when police arrived. He was charged with second degree kidnapping, assault on a child under 12, and resisting an officer.
“I think this incident today drives home the point that we have to be mindful of this,” Shirley said. “We have to be mindful that there are individuals out here that want to cause harm to children. And it’s important that we remain vigilant.”
Both the child and his mother are safe and unhurt. Police said Robbins did not have any weapons. He will make his first appearance in court Friday.