Cops Allege Georgia Man Tried to Abduct 9-Year-Old Boy From Walmart Bathroom
The child resisted, broke free, and ran for help, prompting police to say, “The little boy did everything right.”
MARIETTA, GA — Police reportedly arrested a man they say attempted to abduct a child from a Walmart bathroom.
Michael Beltran, 51, is accused of approaching a nine-year-old boy inside the restroom of a Walmart on South Cobb Parkway. Beltran allegedly told the child his mother had left the store and that he should leave with him. Authorities said the boy ignored Beltran and attempted to leave. Before he could, though, Beltran reportedly grabbed the boy’s arm and attempted to drag him away. The child, whose older brother was waiting for him outside the bathroom, told investigators he managed to break loose and run away. His mother, Tomi Lynn Cooper, who was shopping nearby, reportedly called 911 immediately.
Recounting the exact moment, Cooper told a reporter, “I walk back there to where the bathroom is and the man comes out and he looks at me like a deer in headlights. He stood there for like two seconds, then goes the opposite way."
In a statement, the Marietta Police Department wrote, “Cobb 911 received the call at 12:00 p.m., dispatched the call to police at 12:01 p.m., and the first officer arrived on scene and met with the mother at 12:04 p.m.” Responders reportedly found Beltran back inside the restroom and took him into custody.
Cooper said she was proud of her son, stating, “That's why you have to teach your kids how to fight. Because if you don't fight, they'll take you.” Still, Cooper noted that the incident rattled the child, saying, “He is doing great now, but before today and the day after, he didn't want to leave the house. He didn't want to go to any stores.” Regarding Beltran, Cooper said, “I hope that he stays in jail forever and he never has a chance to put his hand on another child.”
Marietta PD Officer Officer Jared Rakestraw added, “Everyone in Marietta goes to that Walmart. It’s concerning not knowing what his intent was. The little boy did everything right.”
Police say Beltran has been charged with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor simple battery. He is reportedly being held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.
Concerned that there may be more victims, authorities are also asking anyone who might have had a similar experience with Beltran to contact Marietta Police Detective Mark Erion at 770-794-5363.