Watch: Shocking Moment As Girl Kidnapped In Broad Daylight
Jay Dawson February 16th 2017 Entertainment
It's a world of terror, confusion, and fear that we live in these days, but nothing quite tops the fear of losing a loved one. There's no greater terror than the idea that someone so close to us could be snatched away in a second. Which is what makes this insane video both truly awful, and truly unmissable. Watch as a four-year-old disappears in a blink of an eye...
A Heart-Stopping Moment
It was every mother's worst nightmare, amped up 100 times. It was all over in a blur, as she took her eyes off her four-year-old daughter for just a second. Then, the unthinkable happened. A man reached into the store and simply plucked her girl away from her. The video you're about to see will shock and appall you in its swift brutality.
The mother and daughter's names were never released, but their fear and distress are all too close to home. They never knew what was coming, and it sparked off a chain reaction of events that threw the small shop into chaos. In such a small neighborhood, it's the last thing you'd expect to happen. And if it wasn't for the actions of a small band of local heroes, this shocking moment could have turned into something far, far worse...
Where It All Went Down
The four-year-old and her mother were out shopping for the day, just running some errands, when the attempted kidnapping occurred. It was the middle of the day, broad daylight, and they had stepped into Macias Cellular & Computers in Victorville, California, to ask about a new cell phone for the mother. As the toddler daughter lingered near the entrance door, the mother joined the queue to talk to the shop owners.
Victorville itself is a small city of about 120,000 residents, located in San Bernardino county in California. Out on the southwestern edge of the Mojave desert, it's a fairly quiet place, relaxing and sleepy in that southern Californian way. It was hit hard by the recent financial crisis, but its location along the historic Route 66 has it poised to eventually bounce back. All in all, it's a happy, optimistic place to be.
This Isn't The First Time
This kidnapping case is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to nationwide child crime. It seems like every week there's another child snatched up, and the perpetrators seem to get more and more brazen. It's only thanks to a hardworking police force and the timely intervention of some brave members of the public that many of these attempts have been foiled as they happen.
Thousands of kidnappings occur each year in the United States, although many of those are by family members locked in custody battles. Even so, there are still a huge, scary amount of kidnappings that are done by complete strangers. The US Department of Justice reports that about 20 children per day are kidnapped for prolonged periods of time, an astonishing number. And this isn't just restricted to the States. We've reported on similar cases before, including the daylight-snatching of a Chinese boy for ransom.
These are the cases that - over the last century - have shocked and mystified the nation and tore families apart. A child abducted is sometimes like a wound that cannot heal, and often a family simply dissolves after cases like these. Consider five-year-old Elsie Paroubek, who in 1911 went to walk over to her aunt's house a block away, and was never seen again. Her family never recovered from the loss.
Or six-year-old Morgan Nick, who in 1995 disappeared from a Little League game in Arkansas and is still to this very day being searched for. Two kidnapping attempts were made in Glendale, in California, just last year. Then there's the infamous and horrifying case of Jaycee Dugard, perhaps one of the most famous and heartbreaking kidnapping cases in recent history. Kidnapped in 1991, she was held for 18 years and only broke free from her horrifying ordeal in 2009.
She Couldn't Do Anything
When this four-year-old girl was snatched, the mother was not only unaware, but she was also completely helpless in doing anything. The problem was at first that she had no idea of what was happening - all she heard in that terrifying instant was a scream. The other problem was that she had gone shopping with her other daughter, as well.
This other daughter was only a baby. The mother was holding her in her arms as she lined up at the cell phone store, and there was no way she could react without endangering the life of her newborn. She couldn't run after her child without either abandoning her baby to some unknown people in the store, or else keep holding the baby and risk it coming to harm in the chaos outside. It was a split-second decision, and she took the only option she could: raise the alarm, and hope that others could catch the kidnapper.
In the moments following the snatching, the other people in the store were just as confused as the mother. What had just happened? Stella Moriel, the owner of the store, was the first to react, although she thought it was something different at first. "I heard screaming," Moriel said. "I thought they were arguing with each other at first. When I came from behind the counter I asked what was going on."
That's when the awful truth dawned on Stella and her husband: that a child had been taken from their very own store. Three of them - Stella, her husband, and a customer - bolted from the store to see if they could do something. It was only thanks to their quick reactions that everything in the end turned out okay. They discovered that something incredibly fortunate had happened...
A Lucky Escape
The four-year-old, it seemed, had gotten away from her would-be captor. As she had been grabbed, she did what young children do best: lie down and throw a tantrum. It appeared that because she had been so difficult, the kidnapper had lost their grip on the girl and she had fallen to the sidewalk. Her instincts had kicked in, and for once they had saved her mother a world of pain.
Stella, the owner of the store, brought back the four-your-old to her mother in what would be an emotional reunion. She described the ensuing scene as incredibly emotional. "The mom was in here she was very hysterical," Moriel said. "Her daughter was very traumatized, just clinging on to her, wouldn't let go. Both babies were crying." Given what had just happened, her reaction was pretty understandable.
They Give Chase
But just because the four-year-old girl was safe and sound, they weren't going to let the attempted kidnapper get away. Stella's husband and the customer were still out on the street, and they had spotted the man who had made the grab, running away as fast as he could. They gave chase down Union St, yelling for other members of the public to stop the guy.
They were successful. Soon they had run the man down, and though he fought off the residents, they gang-tackled him to the ground and held him till the police arrived. What worried them most, though, was the reaction of the man. As sheriff's deputies came to the scene, Miguel Macias - Stella's husband - looked into the kidnapper's face. "He was smiling like it was some kind of joke or something," Miguel Macias said.
The man who they caught - the man you'll soon see in this shocking video - was named Terry Lynn Ransom, an ironically-named 24-year-old resident of Hesperia (a town about eight miles away). Residents noted that when they caught him, he was making nervous twitches and strange motions, and investigators seem to have backed this up by claiming that he was most likely high on drugs at the time.
Later at the trial, Ransom claimed that he had been in hospital the day of the attempt, and had been administered drugs there. His own family said that "he's a loving kid, he had five children of his own, he would have never did this if he wasn't under the influence of drugs." But even though all the facts were against him, he still made a plea of "not guilty" when facing court five days later.
The Cops Try Their Best
"Everything just happened so fast," Morial told the Daily Press. "You see it all the time in movies and TV, but to actually see it in front of you is a whole different experience." And indeed, despite the best efforts of the police force, there's nothing they can really do to prevent the kinds of sudden kidnappings you'll see in this video. These things happen in an instant, and all you can do is hope that the public will do their best.
Terry Lynn Ransom, on the other hand, had already had several convictions before this particular case. He's been cited for robbery, resisting arrest, and even assaulting a police officer. Whether or not this should be an indication that he may kidnap someone is unclear. But what is clear is that this man should have had greater monitoring. Watch the video and decide for yourself...