This is every parents worst nightmare. Shoppers at a mall in Georgia stepped in to assist a little girl after a stranger tried to kidnap her in the bathroom holding a knife to her throat. The footage of shoppers intervening and restraining the man has since gone viral.
Channel 2 Action News has obtained dramatic video of shoppers taking down a child kidnapping suspect at a Cobb County mall.
On Tuesday, an 11-year-old girl went into the women's restroom at the food court inside Town Center Mall and a man inside grabbed her and held a knife to her neck, Cobb County police said.
Police said the girl screamed, broke free and ran to her father, who was outside the bathroom, police said.
“Out of nowhere there was a little girl yelling and I just see like a group of people running,” witness Mike Rosero said.
The suspect, Danzell Mitchell, 26, tried to take off running, but the girl's father and bystanders tackled him in the food court.
After Mitchell was on the ground, shoppers surrounded him so he couldn’t run again.
“I see a man and this other man just wrestling holding onto each other,” Rosero said. “Then I see one of them run off and the other one, presumably the dad, he just kept grabbing onto him. Then the guy that tried to kidnap the little girl, he managed to get off of him and try to run away, and he jumped over a table and he fell."
Mitchell was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, attempted kidnapping and first-degree cruelty to children. He is being held without bond.
This is the first time Mitchell has been arrested in Cobb County, but it's his third arrest overall, according to records. He was arrested in 2009 for allegedly breaking into cars and again in 2011 when Alpharetta police accused him of shoplifting.
People who know him said they were surprised by his alleged actions.
“He’s come to my home. His mom, me and his family, we’ve spent time together,” his neighbor, Jasper, said.
She says she’s known him for six years and he worked at a local grocery store. She says she never imagined he could be accused of such a crime. But she says, there’s no excuse for what he’s accused of.
Police say they are still looking for a female person of interest Mitchell was communicating with in the food court.