Mom and Guard Foil Attempted Emeryville Child Kidnapping
By Brian Shields
A 19-year old with a history of mental problems is in jail after allegedly trying to kidnap a seven-year old girl.
The victim and her mother were leaving a Starbucks at the Powell Street Plaza Monday evening when witnesses say 19-year old Gabriel Weathersbee tried to abduct the child.
“A stranger had just grabbed her seven-year old girl and was carrying the child off.” Emeryville police Sgt. Fred Dauer said. “The victim and her daughter did not know the suspect before this incident. The mother followed and was yelling to get her daughter back. She was able to get her daughter back from the suspect and he tried to flee the area on foot.”
Investigators say a quick thinking security guard followed Weathersbee and pointed him out to police. Investigators say after talking with the suspect and witnesses they learned he had allegedly made previous threats to sexually assault children.
Police say Weathersbee may suffer from mental illness. He has been the subject of at least one previous psychiatric hold after another incident involving Emeryville police.
The child in this case was not hurt.
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Reposted from this Nixle Alert Issued by the Emeryville Police Department:
Emeryville Police received a 911 call on February 3 in the early evening of a possible kidnapping of a 7-year-old girl. The mother and her 7-year-old daughter had just left Starbucks Coffee in the Powell Street Plaza when the suspect, Gabriel Weathersbee had walked up behind the 7-year-old, picked her up and carried her away. The mother screamed when Weathersbee finally let the 7-year-old go. A nearby security guard followed Weathersbee. Police arrived within minutes and the security guard pointed out Weathersbee. Police arrested Weathersbee and witnesses positively identified him as the kidnapper.
Emeryville Police had previous contact with Weathersbee in November and he was sent to John George for a psychiatric hold. Weathersbee is a 20-year-old male black who resides in the Emeryville Marina. Anyone with any information about Gabriel Weathersbee should contact Detective Goodfellow at 596-3733.
Due to the fast response by Police and the security guard, police were able to stop this kidnapping. As a reminder, please keep your children safe. Always keep your children nearby, never leave them alone and most of all be aware of your surroundings.
For more information, please contact Public Information Officer Sergeant Fred Dauer at (510) 406-9640 after 12:30 pm who will be following up as to obtaining more information on Weathersbee.