Police investigating attempted abduction at Chinatown grocery store

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HOUSTON – A Houston mother is seeking justice for her child after a man may have tried to kidnap the baby.

Surveillance video from the incident at the very least shows some unusual behavior.

“I think I was distracted for about a minute or so,” recalls Florence Monauer.

But that’s all it took for the man to walk up to Monauer’s shopping cart inside the H Mart grocery store in Chinatown Saturday.

With the mother’s back turned — without speaking to her or getting permission — the man tried to pick up her 14-month-old daughter. Monauer realized what was happening once she heard the rustling of fabric to which the child was attached.

“I think that if it weren’t for the cover, he probably would’ve made off with her quickly,” says Monauer. “I couldn’t hear a thing.”

Monauer eventually got her baby back but she said the man never spoke to her. Instead, he directed his conversation to the baby. Then, with no shopping cart and no merchandise, he walked away and out of the store.

Monauer believes the man was not simply a friendly guy who likes babies, but perhaps a child predator.

“I wanted people to be aware that this does happen and I want to prevent the same thing from happening,” says Monauer. “It gave me chills just thinking that this could’ve happened to my child and it may happen to someone else. I definitely want him to get caught.”

Houston police are investigating the incident as an attempted abduction.

The man is described as white and around 6 feet 1 inch tall. He appears to be in his early 50s.

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