Free-Range Kids

Mom Charged With Falsely Accusing a Man of Trying to Kidnap Her 5-Year-Old at the Mall

Video evidence contradicted Santana Adams' account.

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Mall
Screenshot via ABC 7

She's the Jussie Smollett of the mommy world: Santana Adams of Milton, West Virginia, has been charged with falsely accusing a man of trying to kidnap her 5-year-old daughter at the mall.

On April 1, Adams told the police that a stranger at the Old Navy store in Barboursville "grabbed the child by the hair and attempted to pull her away." The girl then "dropped to the floor with the male still pulling her." As WSAZ reported:

The woman told police she pulled out a gun and the man quickly left the scene.

The mom told mall security what happened. A short time later they along with the Barboursville Police Department spotted the suspect walking near the food court where he was taken into custody.

Hero mom thwarts predator with gun: That's what appeared to be the case when the accused man, Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, was thrown in jail. Zayan is an Egyptian here on a work visa.

But the case against him quickly began to unravel.

First, the mom told investigators that on second thought, maybe the whole thing was a "cultural misunderstanding." Maybe the guy had just been trying to pat her daughter's head.

By Tuesday, Zayan was released from the Western Regional Jail, weeping openly as he was greeted by his co-workers.

By Thursday night he was a free man, after the prosecutor dismissed all charges. Hammers had reviewed the evidence, including surveillance video of the two shoppers calmly leaving the store at slightly different times, going in opposite directions. When Zayan had been arrested later that evening at the mall's food court he'd been completely stunned and confused. He'd actually been at Old Navy to shop for his own daughter. His public defender, Michelle Protzman, vowed to make sure the case is expunged.

By Friday afternoon the tables had completely turned and Adams found herself facing charges for accusing Zayan of a crime that did not happen. Possible penatlies are a $500 fine and sixth months in jail.

Perhaps you're wondering why someone would make up such a preposterous story. I have an idea.

For the last few years, there has been a string of moms going on Facebook, breathlessly claiming that they were out at the mall (or Ikea, or Target), when suddenly they realized that they were being stalked by a kidnapper clearly planning to snatch their kids and sex-traffic them.

The evidence is usually something like, "I saw a guy staring at my baby." Or, "I saw the couple in one aisle and then I went down a different aisle and there they were again," or, "I looked outside and there was a van with its door open!"

Inevitably, the mom congratulates herself on having had the wherewithal to figure out what was going on just in time, and bravely thwart the heinous crime by, uh, staring the guys down. Then the mom usually says something like, "if it happened to me it could happen to you," without reminding readers that in fact, nothing happened. No one grabbed a kid. No one was sex-trafficked. (The head of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, David Finkelhor, says he knows of zero cases of a child kidnapped from a parent in public and sex trafficked.) It's all in the moms' heads.

Yet they get thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of approving shares and comments on social media.

Here's one story. Here's another, and another, and another. Here's one that went mega-viral a few years back. You get the idea. It's a panic, with a twist: adulation.

The mom ends up the hero of the non-event, basking in comments like thank you for sharing this, and so glad you are safe and, you are such a strong, conscientious mama.

If only this hoax story could go as viral as the my-kid-was-almost-sex-trafficked posts.

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  1. But anything that any woman says, must be believed!!!

    Not! Glad to see this happen… It should happen some more!

    1. People like you not believing is like her daughter being sex trafficked all over again.

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  2. Maybe, for false reports, there should be a gradation of punishments.

    If nobody is arrested, then the punishment should be for wasting police time.

    If somebody got arrested or charged, the punishment would go up.

    If the victim is actually convicted, there should be a higher punishment still.

    In reality, the prosecutor could water down punishments with plea bargains, so I don’t know why I’m even bring up what sentences should formally be on the books.

    1. Well, my thought on perjury, which is what this is/was, is that the sentence should be the maximum for the fake crime, plus 5 years, no parole. So time for kidnapping, sex trafficking, and 5 more years. Plus she had a GUN!!!!

      To coin a phrase, “lock her up”

      1. What the hell, throw in a few years for racist hate crime. Turn out she’s white.

      2. I see I was about an hour late! Other than the extra 5 years and no parole, I’m right with you. Perjury is one of the worst crimes imaginable. If killing cops and judges and prosecutors is bad because it attacks the “justice” system, perjury is far worse because it subverts the entire system, not just one actor in it.

        1. False witness

          1. “Thou shalt not…”

            1. Something about bears…

      3. “Well, my thought on perjury, which is what this is/was”

        This is not even vaguely perjury.

        1. Are you arguing from a lawyer point of view? Who cares!

          Lying under oath is perjury to most people. An obvious extension is lying in an official capacity. If a mayor lies about public finances at a city council meeting, most people have no problem with treating that as perjury in fact even if not by some legal definition. Extend that to public speeches? Yes, same effect; if the mayor gives a campaign speech repeating the same lies as he said at the city council meeting, fewer people might want to label it perjury, but they would all agree it is just as dastardly.

          So begone with your legal quibbling!

          1. One of the first things laws do is define terms so the definitions are very, very important. You can’t go around calling any lie you do’t like perjury and expect a legal punishment.

          2. a ab abc: “Don’t confuse me with your legal definitions! Purjury is whatever I want it to be when I use it against people I don’t like!”

          3. “Are you arguing from a lawyer point of view? Who cares!”

            Apparently, you do, because you tried to sound smarter than you are by throwing in a word you don’t know the meaning of.

            Then you got bitchy and tried a lame excuse when you got caught using a word you don’t actually understand.

            ” fewer people might want to label it perjury, but they would all agree it is just as dastardly.”

            “Dastardly” and “perjury” mean different things. (As do “ignorant” and “stupid”. I was tentatively willing to believe one, but I now believe you have firmly established the other.)

            1. When laymen use a word, it is not necessarily related to the exact legal definition, which may well vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

              Lawyers who insist on the legal definition outside of legal arguments are as idiotic as laymen who insist on the lay definition in court.

              Go blow.

              1. “Go blow.”

                He’s trying to sex-traffic me!

                “Lawyers who insist on the legal definition outside of legal arguments are as idiotic as laymen who insist on the lay definition in court.”

                To clarify, which sort of idiot are you?

    2. The punishment for perjury, for lying to try to get someone else punished for something, should be the punishment that would have happened had the lie been accepted.

      This lie should have been punished by whatever is the punishment for kidnapping a kid for sex trafficking.

      Cops who drop a pistol at a scene to justify their own shooting, or who claim to have found dope during a search, should be punished as their victims would have been punished.

      Prosecutors who withhold evidence or make up evidence should be punished exactly as they were trying to punish their victim.

      Too bad for this mom and the thousands of others, and I’m sorry for their families. But the people they tried to frame are people too, and more innocent, and I’m sorrier for their families; and the examples of a few paranoid moms would prevent far more other moms from following the same path.

      1. “The punishment for perjury, for lying to try to get someone else punished for something”

        That’s not what perjury is, though.

        1. Take your lawyerly quibble and begone!

          1. Quit bitching at everyone who knows more than you. It’ll save you a LOT of time.

            1. You probably get excited when someone uses the word “civilian” in any context other than military, or when some ignorant person mixes up “clip” and “magazine”. You are the one operating context-free.

              1. It’s your time to waste, I guess.

    3. As for prosecutors watering down punishments, get back to victim prosecution, get rid of the government monopoly. Most perjurors would end up settling for cash. Cop lies about you running a red light? Maybe not even the price of the ticket, just something for the time and trouble would satisfy most people. Something like this? $100K? $10K? depending on how far things went. Might settle for a public apology on TV, in fact that might be the most important thing of all to most people. Can you imagine the effect on traffic cops having to apologize in court when you prove their traffic stop was phony, such as by your own dash cam?

      Society would get a lot more polite and humble.

      1. Tattoo on forehead?

      2. “If the man who testified is a false witness, if he has testified falsely against his fellow you shall do to him as he schemed to do to his fellow. Thus you will sweep out evil from your midst” (Deut. 19:18-19).

        They took this stuff seriously in the old days.

        1. Then Jesus came along and set up different rules.

  3. Not cool

  4. Hero mom thwarts predator with gun…

    You mean, “Hero mom with gun thwarts predator.” Please may we have just a little bit of editing so that articles are easy to read.

    1. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to read!

      1. Harsh but cruel.

      2. I didn’t realize so much thought and work went into writing these articles.

    2. Reason articles are incredibly sloppy when it comes to grammar. It’s almost like these cosmos don’t have degrees in English or something.

      1. “Grammar is a social construct of the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy used to oppress marginalized peoples”

        1. True that!

    3. The story was mom with gun thwarts alleged kidnapper.

      But the man falsely accused of the alleged kidnappings says he did not see a gun.

      Her whole story was false even if she had a concealed weapon on her.

      1. A popular fantasy amongst gun fanciers is how they’ll somehow stumble into a situation where being armed allows them to foil a crime. Being openly armed tends to lead the bad guys to either A) pick a different target or B) plan better. Being secretly armed, however, lets you have the personal satisfaction of being underestimated and then haha! seeing the look on their face when they find out that squirrels have teeth. Hollywood has sold them well, and they won’t admit it.

  5. There are enough moms in desperate situations who are willing to give up their kids to lowlifes that no one who has any criminal integrity is going to risk trying to pry the hands of a soccer mom off their little princess to steal them in public for human trafficking. Sad but true.

  6. I’m just afraid these charges could have a chilling effect on mothers freaking out for no reason.

    1. Another OBL competitor.

      People are hot today!

  7. If only this hoax story could go as viral as the my-kid-was-almost-sex-trafficked posts.

    Often stories go viral not because they’re true but because they’re false. That’s why people spread them. It’s just a troll. In fact this woman probably knew it was false too, she was probably just a racist and thought she could get away with it. The problem with lamenting the popularity of such stories is that it leads to censorship. For example, Facebook is now banning anti-vax posts. But in fact many people oppose vax not because they believe in it but because they are just self-destructive trolls. Now the ban will only increase the popularity of the movement.

    Remember: just because you saw it on the internet does not make it true.

    1. Yes. She was just eager for a little attention, her 15 minutes of fame in an otherwise-boring life. Probably read enough other similar bogus claims, saw her chance to jump on the bandwagon. Never expected the police would actually find the guy and arrest him, never considered the consequences.

      1. Yup. This is a really good show about a crazy mom. It’s amazing what they will subject their kids to for a little attention and to feel relevant and needed, and how we go along with it as a society.

      2. There once was a time when considering the consequences of your actions was one of the things that defined being an adult.

        1. Adulthood is so last century.

    2. ” But in fact many people oppose vax not because they believe in it but because they are just self-destructive trolls.”

      OK. No reason not to ban both.

  8. ORIGINAL STORY
    A man is in custody Monday night after an attempted abduction at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville.

    That is according to Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum, who says that the man tried to grab a child by the hair inside a mall store. The mother was able to startle the man, and he took off.

    The mom later identified the man in the food court area, and he was arrested by Barboursville Police with help from Huntington Mall Security. The Cabell County Sheriff’s Department was also on the scene to secure the perimeter.

    Police are in the process of taking a report from the victims in the case.

    Joe Bell, director of corporate communication with the Huntington Mall, said they’re aware of the incident and praised the police response. Bell also said they’re grateful no one was injured.

    I hope they throw the book at that guy!

  9. Damn, Dems must really be worried about losing black votes in 2020.

    While exploring a run for president in Nevada, Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed a committee to study reparations for descendants of slaves and then went further ? saying that the country needs “a program of actual redistribution” of wealth.

    A progressive activist asked the mayor his position on reparations at an event in Las Vegas Friday following the endorsement of the compensation plan by other presidential contenders like Elizabeth Warren.

    “There’s no question that the issue of reparations has to be taken seriously,” said de Blasio.

    But, he added, there needs to be a “bigger discussion about income inequality and oppression of other groups including Latinos, Native Americans, Asian and women.”

    “I think a program of actual redistribution which includes much heavier taxes on the wealthy,” he said.

    1. According to 23andMe I have substantial Neanderthal DNA coursing through my brutish body. I weep for my ancestors, brutally raped and destroyed by a bunch of Homos (that’s how we Neanders refer to the effete Sapiens).

      Where are my reparations? How will my tribe be made whole?

      1. Should have stayed in school, at which point you would have learned that Neanderthals are Homo Sapiens. Specifically, Homo Sapiens Neandertalensis.

        1. It depends when he went to school and which sources were consulted. Taxonomy is notoriously fluid and different authorities will accept or reject classification independently of one another, no?

          1. It’s known they could interbreed. Thus, not separate species.

      2. Reparations for the #NeanderthalGenocide!
        #NeanderthalLivesMatter!

        1. Muh People!

    2. “While exploring a run for president in Nevada, Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed a committee to study reparations for descendants of slaves…”

      Proof that one is a descendant will be required, naturally. *eyeroll*

    3. While exploring a run for president in Nevada, Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed a committee to study reparations for descendants of slaves and then went further ? saying that the country needs “a program of actual redistribution” of wealth.

      Men who were conscripted into the military were slaves and should be included.

      1. And the reparations should be paid by women, who benefited from the protection of the armed forces but were not required to participate.

    4. Of course, what will happen is that de Blasio will set up a highly paid committee of a few hundred of his friends and campaign donors to ‘investigate” the house and linage of all applicants to determine who is and is not actually a true descendant of slaves. once all eligible descendants have been identified, they will collectively share in a pool of money equal to the amount paid for all of the slaves. Without interest.
      Justice will be served, democrats will be voted for, and political debts paid for by the taxpayers.

    5. I suggest the study committee consist of four prominent African-American men and four prominent African-American women, and whatever they deem proper reparations be enacted.

      And then, having settled this issue forever, a Constitutional amendment be adopted that dictates anyone ever bringing up reparations for slavery after the commission has rendered its verdict be disqualified both from holding any office of trust or profit under the United States or any state, and from being allowed to vote.

      Incidentally, the members of the commission should specifically be:

      1) Clarence Thomas
      2) Herman Cain
      3) J. C. Watts
      4) Thomas Sowell
      5) Janice Rogers Brown
      6) Condoleezza Rice
      7) Jenean Hampton
      8) Jennifer Carroll

    6. I think de Blasio needs a redistribution of his brains.

      (Only fair since he must think he has more than most people.)

    7. If we’re settling past accounts, how about checks for the descendants of those who liberated the slaves?

      1. A tax on Confederate battle flags?

    8. And I’m sure that Reason will waive it’s magic ‘open borders’ wand at this so that the (descendants of) white southerners who never set foot on the African continent and never themselves forcibly enslaved anyone can simply pass their debt on to the descendants of various African tribes and warlords.

      Otherwise, what good would open borders be if you only used the policy to selectively dick over the natives?

  10. The obvious first measure to combat the trend of ‘my child was almost kidnapped’ stories is to make an effort to comment on them to the tune of “You are obviously deranged. Please seek psychiatric help immediately.”

    The only problem being that to do that I would need to be on Facebook, and I would rather have ants on my shorts.

  11. “She’s the Jussie Smollett of the mommy world: Santana Adams…”

    So can she skate like Jussie?

    1. That’s my take on comparing it to Smollett. It actually looks like its +1 for elite class and -1 for the No Ones.

      Does she not have Obama connections in high places?

  12. He should sue her for defamation.

  13. It is the point where you are afraid to do anything

    Even a common courtesy. Was at the grocery the other day and there was a mom with a toddler and one in her arms struggling to get the shopping cart going. So I just reached out and got the cart out for her. Later I thought even that little interaction what if I had been accused of something? You are standing in the grocery line and the kid in front of you does something cute. Don’t look or smile or you could end up like this guy.

    It is a sad thing today.

    1. Unless you’re Joe Biden. Then you can ogle, smile at, hug, hold onto, stroke faces and hair and finger breasts of children and women in public and everyone thinks it’s fine.

      1. If you’re famous, you can just grab them by the pussy, and they’ll let you do it.

  14. If I am not mistaken a dismissed charge still shows up in a background check. He should move to have the record sealed which will be yet another hassle.

    1. The article said his public defender wants to seek expungement.

  15. there has been a string of moms going on Facebook, breathlessly claiming that they were out at the mall (or Ikea, or Target), when suddenly they realized that they were being stalked by a kidnapper clearly planning to snatch their kids and sex-traffic them. The evidence is usually something like, “I saw a guy staring at my baby.”

    “Child-Endangerment Hysteria Hyper-Delusional Disorder”?

    1. “I saw a guy staring at my baby.”

      The Male Gaze is violence.

  16. Drumpf’s cowardly foreign policy is on shameful display once again.

    The U.S. is pulling a contingent of troops out of Libya as the country slides toward civil war

    Libya was a smashing Obama / Clinton success story. But as with health care, Drumpf intentionally sabotages Obama’s achievements because he cannot stand the fact Obama is black.

    #LibertariansForStayingInLibya

    1. #LibertariansForTheWorldAsUSProctectorate

      If we don’t impose freedom on the world, who will?

      1. The official Hymn of the Marines expressly includes fighting on the shores of Tripoli. Which state is Tripoli in, again?

  17. The appeal of preposterously false hysteria like this is not because it’s true, but because supporting it shows your allegiance to the group. The purpose is to ban together to fight the out-group, which in this case is arabs/Muslims (though could also be immigrants). It is not an intentional process, but mostly subconscious. Trump plays on this dynamic all the time. However it’s not just a cynical ploy on his part. He really believes it, as proven by all the mistakes that backfire. Remember when he rambled about women being tied up and trafficked across the border, just like in the movie Soldado which he had seen recently. Also why would he fire Comey, who was the country’s premier propagandist for both addiction and terrorism?

  18. So most people are complete idiots, and have little grasp (or use) for objective reality. Adams either lied to herself or to others about what happened, as do the vast majority of people making similar hysterical claims.

    We have made life too easy, so that complete imbeciles can survive and reproduce.

    1. They should prepare a nice padded room for her. For a decade.

  19. Obviously on the intersectionality scale black Jew faggot beats a black cunt.

  20. The government tells us to be paranoid, the media tells us to be paranoid, and then everyone wonders when someone is paranoid!

  21. Well she ‘Jussied’ that whole thing up didn’t she?

  22. “By Friday afternoon the tables had completely turned and Adams found herself facing charges for accusing Zayan of a crime that did not happen. Possible penatlies are a $500 fine and sixth months in jail.”

    Not nearly enough.

    The biblical punishment for false witness is the punishment for the crime falsely accused. Sounds about right. Though maybe it should be harsher. It’s the attempt to make society as a whole an accomplice to your crime. It’s a malignant cancer.

    1. More specifically, the Old Testament biblical punishment is as you say. The New Testament biblical command is to forgive the offender. If you believe that sort of thing.

  23. Just like Jussie… except for the fact that she will get in serious trouble, and he skates completely and will get a raise and become a hero of the resistance.

    1. He surrendered his bail as part of his agreement, which is not at all the same thing as “skating completely”, and he got unemployed, and the “resistance” thinks he’s a fool and mocks him relentlessly.

      Other than these few quibbles, your analysis is spot-on.

  24. Says her name is Santana? Funny, i naturally assumed it was Karen. She certainly sounds like a Karen.

  25. She needs a bit of jail time, send a message.

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  27. Kidnapping children is very abhorrent. I hope that the society will be less violent and more love.
    https://www.pngfind.com/freepng/love-symbols/

  28. Daniel. true that Esther`s storry is surprising… on tuesday I got a great Smart ForTwo since getting a check for $5857 this last 5 weeks and a little over ten grand this past-month. this is actually the nicest work I have ever had. I actually started 9-months ago and straight away started to bring in over $73.. per-hour. I follow the details here,

  29. Daniel. true that Esther`s storry is surprising… on tuesday I got a great Smart ForTwo since getting a check for $5857 this last 5 weeks and a little over ten grand this past-month. this is actually the nicest work I have ever had. I actually started 9-months ago and straight away started to bring in over $73.. per-hour. I follow the details here,

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