A North Carolina man was arrested after witnesses told police he tried kidnapping two children as they played in the parking lot of their apartment complex Friday.
Witnessed told authorities a man had approached a group of children who were playing in the parking lot, located on Amity Pointe Road in Charlotte, when he grabbed hold of an 8- and 10 year old girl “by their wrists,” WSOC reports.
After the witnesses approached the man, he reportedly released the girls before he took off from the scene.
Jose Rodriguez, 63, was later interviewed by authorities and subsequently charged with two counts of attempted kidnapping.
Detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit have charged Jose Lemus Rodriguez, DOB: 04/17/1955, for his involvement in an attempted kidnapping case that occurred in the Hickory Grove Division this evening. Attached is the release pic.twitter.com/jyPOykOI9n
— CMPD News (@CMPD) October 6, 2018
An aunt of the girls, Wanda Barnes, told WSOC that the children can often be found playing in the parking lot of the apartment complex.
“They’re always out here playing,” Barnes said. “There’s never been anything like this that’s happened in the neighborhood before.”
Barnes expressed relief that her niece “knows stranger danger,” and added that the girl “called the cops herself.”
None of the children were harmed during the alleged attempted kidnapping, and another woman said she is vigilant about keeping the neighborhood kids safe.
“We have to stand up for the children. If we don’t, who will?,” neighbor Robin Lockhart-Jackson stated. “It’s observant and I’m watching to make sure children are safe.”
“Just teach your kids to just not go with anybody,” Barnes said.
Anyone with further information regarding the incident is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
[Feature image: Jose Rodriguez/Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department]