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Woman thwarts kidnap attempt in Hobby Lobby parking lot

Alice Queen

Editor

alice.queen@rockdalecitizen.com

CONYERS — A Covington woman saved herself and her 9-month-old grandchild from a butcher-knife-wielding man who tried to abduct them in broad daylight, according to Conyers Police.

Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson said the woman, 62, walked out of Hobby Lobby on Ga. Highway 138 at about 4 p.m. Wednesday to her car, which was parked about three spaces from the front of the store. The woman, who was carrying her grandchild, put the child in the car and then walked around to the driver’s side door of the car.

Wilson said the suspect got into the woman’s car on the passenger side and held the knife to her throat in an apparent attempt to take her, the car and the child inside the car.

Wilson said the woman “literally saved herself,” after she began to “scream and scream and scream.”

Wilson said the commotion drew the attention of people in nearby stores and in the parking lot who came to the woman’s aid. The suspect fled in a rented Nissan Altima, pursued by a passerby who jumped in his Cadillac Escalade and followed.

The passerby followed the suspect south on Ga. 138 and into the McDonald’s parking lot. The suspect continued to the rear of Sign-A-Rama where he ditched the car and ran into woods behind the U.S. Post Office.

Police set up a perimeter in the area and captured the suspect a short time later, Wilson said.

The suspect, identified as Musa Muhammed Abdul Al-Karim, 28, of 279 Inman St., Atlanta, has been charged with aggravated assault and kidnapping. He initially gave a different name and warned officers that his name was Arabic and would “mess” with the computer. He is being held at the Rockdale County Jail.

Wilson said there was no indication that the suspect was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.

“I think he’s just under the influence of being mean,” Wilson said.

He added that the suspect was wearing two pairs of pants, apparently so he could change his appearance, and had latex gloves and wire ties to use as handcuffs on him.

“We don’t think this was his first offense,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he was impressed with the number of people who came to the aid of the victim, and praised the citizen who pursued the suspect and the officers who responded quickly and captured him. He said 10 to 15 cars were on the scene.

The victim sustained bruises to her arms and emotional trauma, Wilson said.

“Her point was she had to protect that baby,” he said. “She said she wasn’t going to let anything happen to that baby.”