A woman briefly endured a parent’s nightmare while she was shopping at a supermarket in South Africa.
According to the UK’s Daily Mail, mother-of-two Daniella Wolff was shopping at a SuperSpar store in the South African city of Alberton. She could be seen on security footage pushing a young child in her cart.
As Wolff turned away from the child briefly to get what appeared to be some meat out of a refrigerator, a strange man could be seen walking towards the child.
The footage showed the man lifting the child out of the cart and beginning to walk away. Wolff eventually saw what was happening and ran after him.
She was able to run down the man, who was reportedly a butchery assistant at the store, and get her child back. Still, she described in a post on social media how traumatizing the incident was.
“I have her in my arms and when I get to the meat section I place her in the trolley to free my hands and when I find what I’m look for I bend down,” Wolff wrote, according to the Daily Mail.
“Within an instant, a stranger is seen in the video taking my daughter. I look up and she’s gone. I immediately look for her and find her in the arms of this man.”
As could be seen in the video, Wolff grabbed her child from the man without a struggle. When she did so, she said she began to question him.
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“I’m able to grab her from him and say what he is doing with my daughter?” Wolff wrote. “Why does he have her? He is smiling and laughing and I say it isn’t a joke and it’s not amusing.”
Wolff said the man’s explanation did not make sense, either.
“He tells me he walked past the trolley and my daughter’s arms were up so he picked her up,” she wrote. “I am frozen and confused. Why is he laughing? I tell him it’s not funny. You don’t touch a child, you don’t take a child.”
As Wolff was still in shock, she said the man continually tried to justify his actions.
“I am unsure what to do next and the man again approaches me to ‘demonstrate’ what my daughter was doing,” Wolff wrote. “He said she wanted to go with him and I am so angry, shocked, hysterical and I’m shouting ‘Where were you taking her? What were you going to do with her?’”
Wolff contacted her husband, Bradley, after the incident, and he quickly came to the store to review the footage, the Daily Mail reported. After he had done so, he insisted on reporting the incident as an attempted kidnapping.
The South African Police were contacted and arrested the staff member on site. A SuperSpar spokesperson told the Daily Mail a police investigation was ongoing.
“We have provided the CCTV footage to the police and management are fully cooperating with the authorities in their investigation,” the spokesperson said. “We are extremely relieved a reported case of baby snatching was foiled on Sunday, and we can confirm we immediately decided to suspend one member of staff.
“We will take further action based on the results of the ongoing investigation, and the SPAR group is reaching out to the family to offer any help they need including counseling. The SPAR group adopts a zero-tolerance approach to crime and will ensure the strongest possible consequences to those [who] commit crimes in our stores to ensure customer safety.”