HOUSTON, Texas – A man is captured by a bizarre grocery store security video in what a Texas mother describes as an attempted child abduction.
A reported security video first obtained by KTRK ABC13 from an H-Mart in a Houston Chinatown-area store shows a woman looking at grocery products with her back to her baby in a shopping cart. Seconds later, the video shows a man walking up and quickly lifting up the baby out of the cart. A strap holding the child in the seat appears to lift the baby blanket which touches the mother, alerting her to the child being removed from the cart.
The mother, identified as Florence Monauer, turns around and starts re-arranging the blanket while the man continues to hold the child. Monauer then appears to calmly take back her child while she and the man engage in a short but apparently pleasant conversation. The man reaches out twice to the 14-month-old baby girl–exchanging a “high five” hand slap and what looks like a quick tickle. The man then walks away from the mother and child.
As the man walked away, Monauer appears to go back to her shopping, turning her back on the departing man.
During the encounter with the man, another woman walks by and the mother does not appear to ask for help. After the man walked away, a second person walks by and it appears she says nothing to that person.
Monauer later decided to report the incident to the Houston Police Department which is now investigating the encounter as a possible child abduction attempt.
“She was attached to the shopping cart cover and I think if it weren’t for that cover he probably would have taken off with her altogether,” Monauer told ABC13 reporter Marla Carter as she described the encounter.
She claims the man told her daughter, “If your mom wasn’t here, I would take you.”
The man was walking in the grocery store without a shopping cart or basket when he approached Monauer and her daughter, KPRC stated.
“I wanted people to be aware that this does happen and I want to prevent the same thing from happening,” Monauer told Garvin. “It gave me chills just thinking that this could’ve happened to my child and it may happen to someone else. I definitely want him to get caught.”
KPRC reported the shocking video has been viewed more than one million times on Facebook.
She described the man as being white and about 6 feet 1 inch in height. She said the man spoke with an accent. He was described as being in his early 50s.
At this point, police have not yet identified the man in the video.