Man accused of trying to kidnap a child at Dollar Tree store, Texas police say

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Police in Texas arrested a 34-year-old man accused of trying to kidnap a child from a dollar store Nov. 23 in Austin.

Officers responded to an attempted kidnapping call just after 7 p.m. at a Dollar Tree on the city’s northeast side, the Austin Police Department said in a statement.

Police found and arrested the suspect, Michal Smith, a short distance away.

The 6-year-old victim was at the store with her mother and brother, KXAN reported, but wandered into a different aisle, and Smith allegedly took the opportunity to strike.

He wrapped his hands around the girl’s throat, choking her as he dragged her away. But the girl’s brother caught Smith in the act and screamed, drawing the attention of his mother and other customers, forcing Smith to run away, according to the outlet.

He escaped the store but was soon spotted at a nearby bus stop, and police tracked him down, the station reported.

“APD Officers were able to locate and detain an individual who matched the suspect’s description,” the APD statement said. “Further investigation by detectives with the Child Abuse Unit identified Michal Smith, a 34-year-old male as the person responsible for the attempted abduction.”

Smith was charged with aggravated kidnapping and as of Nov. 29 was being held at the Travis County Jail.

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