SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It was a frightening scene in Del Paso Heights Sunday after a girl says she escaped from an attempted kidnapper at a local market.
The alleged kidnapper, a 29-year-old woman, is behind bars, while concerns about sex trafficking are now swirling.
The girl was just a few blocks from her home when she was approached first by a man and then by a woman who she claims tried to shove her into a truck.
That woman was caught on camera and eventually arrested, but her family says it’s all a big misunderstanding.
“This is something huge. This is a little child being taken away,” said Manny Cota who claims he saw it happen. “All of a sudden a little girl comes running — terrified out of her mind — screaming ‘somebody is trying to take me.'”
A 10-year-old girl was walking home from a nearby store when she claimed a man in his vehicle tried to lure her over. She says she ran into the Rainbow Market and asked to use the phone to call her grandmother to get a ride home, but when her grandmother didn’t answer, she left the store and that’s when she says a woman dragged her into a silver truck, asking her age and if she was working.
“The female stated ‘stop crying, shut up, he’s going to beat you,'” said the girl’s mother who doesn’t want to be identified.
The girl’s mother says she was away at work at the time and is certain her daughter was targeted by sex traffickers.
“I would not have probably seen my child again,” she said.
Manny Cota was at the market as it unfolded and confronted the alleged kidnapper on video. CBS13 blurred the suspect’s face, but jail records identify her as Latorean Beaver. She was arrested Sunday on felony attempted kidnapping charges.
In the video, she claims she was protecting the girl from being solicited. She drove away before police arrived. Beaver’s mother, who also didn’t want to be identified, said her daughter is innocent. She said the family is a well-known family in Del Paso Heights, attending church and volunteering in the community regularly.
“We were not raised like, this is not her character. She does hair. She braids kids’ hair,” said Beaver’s mother.
But the young girl’s mom says she’s not buying it, not for a second. She’s grateful her daughter is home safe tonight, thanks to good Samaritans who stop an alleged kidnapper in her tracks.
Sacramento police are still investigating the incident. Beaver is set to appear in court Thursday morning.