FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Franklin mom is on edge after a frightening experience.
A stranger reportedly approached her child in a local Goodwill a few days ago.
The mother, Mattie, said everything happened in a split second. She and her two daughters, eight and 10 years old, were having a good time shopping around a Goodwill store on Murfreesboro Road in Franklin on Friday, Feb. 10, but that quickly changed.
“We were just kind of browsing Goodwill for fun. I had my one daughter, she was sitting in the cart next to me reading a book that she had grabbed, and then my other daughter was looking at shoes,” Mattie said.
Her 8-year-old was sitting in a cart within arm’s reach of her.
Mattie turned around with her 10-year-old, and a moment later, she heard her youngest crying for her.
“My one daughter just grabs my arm and screams, ‘Mom, Mommy,’ and I turn around and there’s a man next to her and he’s like, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have done that. I’m sorry,'” Mattie said.
According to Mattie, the stranger then looked over to the young girl and said, “Next time you should yell louder for your mom.”
“She was like, ‘He was trying to take me. He was trying to take me.’ She was so distraught and he wouldn’t leave. It was so awkward he wouldn’t leave. I didn’t know what was going on. I walked away with her, I got her calmed down and I said, ‘I need you to tell me exactly what happened.’ And she said, ‘He walked over to me and he went ‘Shh’ and then he started pulling the cart way from, cart toward him,’ like taking the cart away,” Mattie said.
Mattie reported the incident to Franklin police who found the man a few hours later.
“He admitted that he was there and he had scared the girl, but at that point there wasn’t anything arrestable at the moment. I’m just glad to know they have all of that on record,” Mattie said.
Mattie said her experience should serve as a powerful reminder for parents.
“Keep your eyes on your kids all the time. Don’t get too comfortable anywhere. Franklin is a great town. It doesn’t seem like there would be bad people in Franklin, but then something like this happens. We just need to be careful and watching out and watching out for other people’s kids. If you see something going on with other children that doesn’t seem right, just be willing to step up and say something,” said Mattie.
Mattie told News 2 she’s thankful her daughter spoke up before anything worse could’ve happened.
Franklin police said no arrest was made and no charges will be filed.
They also confirmed they responded to a suspicious incident and have detectives investigating to determine if there was any ill intent.