Police: Woman arrested in Freeport kidnapping attempt

Freeport police arrested a woman Monday who allegedly tried to kidnap a girl right in front of the child's mother.

Police say 20-year-old Lela Witts tried to grab a 6-year-old girl inside the Liberty Tax preparation office on West Merrick Road.

Police say 20-year-old Lela Witts tried to grab a 6-year-old girl inside the Liberty Tax preparation office on West Merrick Road. (1/25/17)

FREEPORT - Freeport police arrested a woman Monday who allegedly tried to kidnap a girl right in front of the child's mother.

Police say 20-year-old Lela Witts grabbed a 6-year-old girl around 8:30 p.m. inside the Liberty Tax preparation office on West Merrick Road. A receptionist noticed the attempted snatching and called the girl's mother.

The Bethpage mother, who asked to have her identity withheld, fought back and was able to pull the child out of Witts's hands, according to authorities.

Witts unsuccessfully tried banging on car windows, trying to get strangers to let her in, and wound up running into the nearby Imperial Diner and hiding in the bathroom. That's when police came in and arrested her.

Witts was charged with attempted kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. She pleaded not guilty and was being held on $100,000 bail.

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