ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - It was a tug of war between a teenage girl and a grown man, with a 7-year-old girl caught in the middle. Police say that teenage girl won -- foiling a kidnapping in front of a Dollar General Store and a Starbucks.
The man charged with that kidnapping, 36-year-old Elton Abeita, is due in court for arraignment today. According to police reports, the foiled kidnapping happened in Bernalillo in September in broad daylight.
The report says a teenager and her younger sister were walking into the Dollar Store when Abeita grabbed the little girl and tried to drag her into the parking lot. Her 17-year-old sister grabbed the child's other arm and tried to free her from 6'1" Abeita.
That's when a man walking out of Starbucks saw what was happening and yelled at Abeita to let go of the child. The two girls ran away into a nail salon.
"They were crying and crying" said Tam Ha, a salon employee.
When police arrived, Abeita told them he wasn't trying to take the girl, but only asked her what time it was but police did not believe that story.
District Attorney Lemuel Martinez says Abeita is charged with kidnapping and child abuse.
"Anybody who would try to steal a 7-year-old out of a store -- everybody better be careful, " Martinez said.
Multiple witnesses and police say Abeita was intoxicated.
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