A mother’s worst nightmare unfolds before her very eyes, a man is trying to grab her two-year-old daughter.
The kidnapper is calm, confident and looks the horrified mother dead in the eyes as he attempts to take her daughter.
This might sound like a horrifying plot from a Hollywood movie, but it is exactly what happened in Newcastle on Wednesday evening, April 24.
Wishing to remain anonymous to protect the identity of his family, a concerned father shares his story on how his daughter was nearly abducted.
“We have twins and an older daughter. Sometimes, one of us will stay with the twins, while the other goes to the shop. On Wednesday evening, about 6.15pm, my wife and our daughter went to Checkers.”
Sitting in the trolley, the two-year-old girl calmly watched her mother shop. It was at the PayPoint, that the horrific ordeal unfolded.
“My wife was busy unpacking the trolley when she felt it go backwards. She pulled it back and it was then that she saw a man pulling the trolley towards him. She asked what he was doing and pulled the trolley and our daughter closer to her.”
Undaunted the man came closer and attempted to put his arms around the little girl as he pulled the trolley closer to him again. “The cashier actually asked where his package was, and he said he was with my wife.”
Horrified, the woman grabbed her child out of the trolley and made a scene, attracting attention. When the man noticed he was not going to escape with his intended victim, he walked calmly out of the store.
“He was neatly dressed, thin, had a long face and neat haircut. He was definitely not South African, as he had a golden-brown skin. He looked Middle Eastern,” says the husband.
While the couple’s daughter is safe, she is now suffering the traumatic consequences. “She is a happy child, but every man she sees now is a bad man and she had terrible nightmares after the incident.
What horrified the couple, was his confidence and lack of fear. Is it possible that he has done something similar?
It seems so. Two months ago, he attempted to kidnap an older girl in KFC. “My daughter and I were in KFC and she was standing directly behind me. Suddenly, this man calmly pushed himself between the two of us and pushed my daughter backwards,” says Jacky Vermeulen.
Horrified at his audacity, Jacky immediately swore at the man and slapped him. Just like in the supermarket, he calmly walked away.
Both Jacky and the flabbergasted father from Wednesday evening are encouraging parents to be cautious and alert.
“You never expect something like this to happen in Newcastle,” says Jacky.
The father of the two-year-old suspects the man watched his wife and daughter, taking advantage of the fact that they were alone. “People, especially ladies, need to be vigilant and ensure they are not being followed.”
While there is no confirmation on similar cases in town, Newcastle SAPS spokesperson, Captain Jabulani Ncube encourages parents to never allow their children out of their sights in public and to always remain vigilant. “Also, if something like this happens, it is imperative to open a case immediately,” he says.
With two incidents of attempted kidnapping in a span of two months. What are your thoughts on the situation? What steps can parents take to safeguard our children? Has a similar incident occurred to you? Share your views and story with us.