Atlanta Woman Says A Stranger Tried To Abduct Her Two Kids From Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

The suspect appeared to be in a compromised mental state.

travelers at an airport
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The suspect appeared to be in a compromised mental state.

A Kansas woman allegedly tried to abduct a stranger’s two children from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and the entire incident was captured on video, ABC News reports.

A Georgia woman, whose name has not been made public as of this writing, was on her way through the nation’s busiest airport, along with her husband and two children, to board a flight to Florida. As they were walking through the airport’s atrium, which is an area open to the general public before passengers go through security, the Georgia mom says that a stranger approached her.

The stranger has been identified as Esther Daniels, 26, of Kansas. What she was doing in Atlanta, hundreds of miles from home, remains unclear.

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Daniels allegedly approached the mother and, without saying a word, tried to grab a stroller, with a baby inside, that she was pushing. The mother fought Daniels off, and then she allegedly grabbed the mother’s older child and tried to walk away with him.

By this point, the scene was gaining attention. The mother’s husband, also pushing a stroller, ran to the scene to intervene. Other passengers, as well as airport security, had also noticed and made their way to the scene. The husband wrestled the child away from Daniels, and Daniels allegedly tried to run off.

Security officials eventually caught up to her and subdued her, before placing her under arrest.

The incident was captured on the airport’s surveillance cameras. The alleged abduction attempt begins 52 seconds into the video.

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Atlanta police spokeswoman Tashena Brown says that Daniels’ behavior was “very erratic.” Similarly, a police report from a responding officer notes that Daniels appeared to be in some sort of diminished mental state.

“I asked Ms. Daniels what was wrong and she tried to pass her cell phone over to me to talk to someone. Ms. Daniels wasn’t able to speak in a manner to where I was able to understand her. Ms. Daniels (continued) to blurt out things that made me believe that she was in some type of mental distress,” says the report.

Daniels also appeared to have blood on her lower lip. She was taken to a nearby hospital for a mental health evaluation, before being taken to jail. She’s been charged with kidnapping and with obstructing an officer.

Both children were checked out by onsite medical personnel, and neither appeared to have been injured.