It's a mother's nightmare scenario: a stranger follows your kid home and tries to carry them off, right under your nose. That nightmare came true for one Oregon mother, but luckily her quick thinking and forceful actions averted what could have been a tragic situation.
A 6-year-old girl was playing by her house with several of her siblings and other neighborhood kids. A strange woman, later identified as 25-year-old Stephanie Romero, approached the little girl and, according to the girl's recollections, said, "Come on, I'm gonna take you on the bike trail, follow me."
Romero then grabbed the girl's wrist and began dragging her away, but the girl slipped out of her grasp and escaped back to her apartment.
Romero followed the girl to the apartment. Several witnesses reported seeing her looking into various apartment windows. Eventually, Romero burst into the 6-year-old's apartment, where she confronted the little girl and the girl's grandmother, who ordered the stranger to leave her home. In the meantime, one of the girl's brothers went running off to find their mother and tell her that some stranger was trying to kidnap his sister. The mother, who had been doing laundry, rushed back into the apartment. When she arrived, she saw Romero holding a bedsheet with several of the family's items wrapped inside.
Romero kept claiming that the little girl was her daughter and was adamant that she had to take her. The mother insisted that Romero was leaving, without her daughter. To really drive her point home, the mother punched Romero in the face. It was incredibly effective since Romero then dropped the bedsheet full of the family's stuff on the front doorstep and left without any more fuss. She was later picked up by the police department and placed under arrest "on suspicion of first-degree burglary, second-degree kidnapping, and third-degree theft." The little girl Romero attempted to kidnap was shaken and crying when interviewed by police after the ordeal, but she was physically unharmed.
Stephanie Romero Image Source
When questioned by the police, Romero claims she was trying to "save the kids." According to court records, and her own admission, Romero does, in fact, have a daughter, but that daughter is currently in the state's care. This isn't Romero's first arrest by any stretch of the imagination. The woman, who claims to suffer from bipolar disorder, homelessness, and a methamphetamine addiction, had been arrested four other times in a 30 day period. Hopefully, she can get the help she so clearly needs.
What would you do in this situation? Was the mother right to use physical force to get the woman out, or should she have tried a non-violent approach first? Let us know what you think in the comments below!