Man Accused of Attempting To Snatch Child at Walmart

Man Accused of Trying To Kidnap Child at Walmart

( – In 2022, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) reported receiving more than 110,000 calls regarding missing or exploited children. The organization also reported that the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) logged nearly 360,000 entries for missing children — including those who ran away and canceled/reentered instances into its system. Recently, another child could have been added to the list.

On January 3, the NY Post reported that a man in a Florida Walmart allegedly tried to kidnap a 4-year-old boy on December 29, 2023, while the child’s family was nearby. According to the footage, Pablo Pintueles Hernandez walked up to the boy, grabbed him by the wrist, said, “Let’s go,” and started leading him away from his cart. The child’s sister, who had been holding her brother’s hand, quickly moved toward the little boy, pulling him to safety. Hernandez then left the area to finish shopping with his wife.

Police from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the attempted kidnapping call in Lehigh Acres, working with Real Time Intelligence Center analysts to identify Hernandez as their suspect. Within an hour of that confirmation, police arrested the alleged would-be kidnapper. In a statement, Sheriff Carmine Marceno called the event “incredibly disturbing.” He was upset about the incident, stating he didn’t want the people of “Lee County to feel unsafe.” Marceno said he and his team were dedicated to bringing criminals like these to justice.

Hernandez’s wife, Odalis Vaillant Leyva, talked to detectives about the incident. She stated this wasn’t the first time her husband approached strange children in stores. Leyva, who was present during the recent incident, called her spouse “outgoing” and explained he frequently “jokes with children.” She warned him that his actions might one day be misinterpreted.

The suspect has been charged with false imprisonment of a child 13 years old and under. He is out on bond and due back in court at the end of the month.

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