NORCROSS, Ga. - Officers are investigating an attempted abduction Wednesday morning in a Gwinnett County McDonald’s parking lot.
Police said they were called out to the 6100 block of McDonough Drive in unincorporated Norcross. Arriving officers met with a 19-year-old mother who told them an unknown man tried to take her baby girl from inside her vehicle.
According to police, the mom told them she first saw the suspect, identified as 19-year-old Sterlyn Reynolds, standing by her car before she went inside the restaurant. She took her 10-month-old daughter inside, along with another family member.
The mother told officers the suspect sat at a nearby table and when they were done eating they went back out to their car. The mother buckled her daughter in her car seat and then went to get in the front seat. That’s when Reynolds opened the door where the baby was sitting, according to the mom.
"Once they got up to leave, the suspicious person followed them followed them out to the car and stoodby as they secured the baby in the car," Cpl. Michele Pihera told FOX 5's Portia Bruner.
Investigators said Reynolds started unbuckling the little girl and started to pull her out of the car seat. A family member ran over and “began to struggle” with the suspect in an attempt to prevent the abduction from happening.
"During the course of this struggle, the mother and the stepfather fought back--striking the subject. And she bit the subject in the arm and ran back inside the restuarant," Pihera said Thursday.
According to a news release from the Gwinnett County Police Department, Reynolds bit the family member during the struggle. The mother started hitting Reynolds and bit him from inside the car as she held the baby down. Police said the mom grabbed her child and ran back inside the McDonald’s and the suspect fled on foot.
“The baby suffered minor injuries to her arms and neck,” the news release stated.
Reynolds was found nearby at the Horizon Inn Suites and has been charged for kidnapping and cruelty to children. He was taken to the Gwinnett County jail.
"He had a bite wound on his arm and he had a wound from a prior incident that had opened up during the struggle with the family. That's how we were able to identify him as the suspect. That and the witness descriptions were very helpful too," Cpl. Pihera said. "He was charged with kidnapping and child cruelty in the first degree since the baby sustained some minor injuries during the struggles. He may also be charged with simple battery since he bit the woman's step-father."
The victims told police they have never seen Reynolds before. The motive for the attempted abduction is unknown.