NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 26-year-old man was charged with attempting to kidnap a toddler from her mother in downtown Nashville Wednesday.

Metro police reported a mother and her 2-year-old daughter were standing outside a store on Third Avenue South when a man approached them and began looking at the girl’s eyes.

The man, later identified as Cody Skinner, then reportedly accused the mother of beating “their daughter,” saying she had a black eye. He then rested his arm around the girl and her mother and began to kiss the toddler’s face, according to Metro police.

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According to an arrest affidavit, the mother attempted to pull her child away from Skinner but he would not let go and started to walk away with the child.

The girl’s father came out of the store and confronted Skinner, who began threatening the father and attempted to fight him, according to Metro police.

Cody Skinner mugshot
Cody Skinner (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

The father was able to get his daughter back from Skinner and the family attempted to flee from him, but he followed them to a nearby bank where they were separated by security. There they were able to call 911 for help.

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Once officers had a description of Skinner, they located him attempting to enter a Broadway honky tonk where he was detained and identified by the mother.

According to Metro police, Skinner told officers he saw the child with a black eye and was trying to protect the baby. When asked if he had been drinking, Skinner reportedly said he had two-to-three shots and three beers.

Skinner was booked into the Metro jail and charged with sexual battery, kidnapping, offensive contact assault and public intoxication. His bond was set at $75,100.

News 2 spoke to a parking attendant who works across the street from where the incident happened. He said he is always on the lookout for suspicious activity.

“I’m always running up and down this street. And I see what happens on this street a lot. And if I ever do see something I of course report it because we have to keep these streets safe,” Lilu Taddese said.