FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) – A woman was arrested Tuesday after trying to walk off with a car seat with a young boy still in it, according to Fuquay-Varina police.
The incident happened at a car wash located at 961 S. Judd Parkway SE in Fuquay-Varina. Police said a mother, Nicole Leach, was vacuuming her vehicle when a disoriented woman approached her car, pulled out a car seat with a child still in it, and began to drag it away.
The suspect was identified as 36-year-old Jessica Rose Flanagan, of Fuquay-Varina.
“My son was standing on the front right side,” said Leach. “My youngest son was in the back.”
Leach said she was standing by the driver’s side door. She turned to put quarters in the machine.
“Next thing I know, it was like five seconds, I hear my kids screaming and yelling. My son was saying, ‘Leave my brother alone. Get off of him,'” Leach said.
Leach confronted Flanagan and told her to leave her children alone.
“I run across screaming and crying, ‘Leave my son alone, let him go.'”
Leach said Flanagan grabbed her 4-year-old son by the arm with one hand and grabbed the car seat with her other. She then threw her son to the ground and threw the car seat across the parking lot.
Leach then told her children to run to a nearby store while she called the police.
“She was ripping everything in my car up. She was saying, ‘I know you’re calling the police, I’m not trying to hurt you,'” Leach said.
Flanagan “appeared confused” when officers arrived, the release said. She is charged with assault on a child under 12 and assault in the presence of a minor. She was given a $3,000 bond.
Leach and her family are still shaken up, but also thankful things didn’t end worse.
“I’m emotionally shocked, as well as my kids,” said Leach. “With kidnapping going on every day, and regardless of how I feel, I have to make sure my kids are safe and OK.”
Leach said looking back at it, she would’ve locked her doors but said it all happened so fast.
She wants this to be a lesson for other parents to always be alert no matter where they are.