Florida

'I'll just take your kid, then.' Florida woman tried to kidnap children on beach, cops say

Sarah Freeman, 34, was taken into custody at a Volusia County park on Monday after deputies say she tried to abduct multiple children and battered a pregnant woman.
Sarah Freeman, 34, was taken into custody at a Volusia County park on Monday after deputies say she tried to abduct multiple children and battered a pregnant woman. Volusia County Sheriff's Office

A Florida woman is in jail after deputies say she attempted to kidnap multiple children at a Volusia County beach park and at least two parents reported that they had to pull their kids away from her.

Sarah Freeman, 34, of Port Orange, was taken into custody at the park just a few minutes after the incidents Monday, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

"I thought she was funny, right at first, and I wasn’t thinking much of it,” one man told detectives. He called 911 to report the incident around 1:27 p.m. at the Toronita Avenue Beach Park. “And then it just went weird, out of nowhere.”

Detectives say that first Freeman approached a woman and said, "This isn't a Florida trip you're going to want to remember," and then grabbed the woman's 7-year-old daughter by the towel she was wearing.

The mother, who is six months pregnant, reacted quickly and pulled her daughter back, but Freeman hit her during the struggle, deputies said.

Then Freeman allegedly approached another parent, a dad with his 5-year-old son, and hit him in the back with a stick. She grabbed his son by the arm and started to walk away, saying, "It will be all right. He's not your dad."

The father intervened, deputies said, got his son back and took him back to his truck where Freeman tried to force her way in through a passenger window.

Another witness told deputies that Freeman then turned to her and said, "I'll just take your kid, then."

That parent and her child went to their vehicle and locked the doors.

All the witnesses were able to describe Freeman in detail to dispatchers and she was taken into custody within minutes, the sheriff's office reported.

Once in custody, she mumbled and made unintelligible statements to a deputy, who noticed she appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance.

Freeman is facing charges of two counts of attempted kidnapping and one count each of aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, burglary of a conveyance and battery.

She was being held without bond Monday night at the Volusia County Branch Jail.

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