ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque mom said her instincts kicked in after a stranger walked off with her daughter just outside her apartment complex.
Kadisha Medina said the family had just returned home from the park Tuesday.
“My husband and younger son came in first,” Medina said as her 2-year-old daughter followed close behind.
“She’s independent, likes walking on her own,” she said. “She was sitting on the steps like she always does.”
Medina said she stepped into her apartment to put her purse down and within a split second she turned around and her daughter was gone.
“Her little pink sweats were being carried away by someone. So I ran over to go get her and when I grabbed her he wouldn’t give her back,” she said.
Medina said she finally yanked the toddler right out of the hands of 29-year-old Dustin Sherman as he was heading for the parking lot. She said the stranger even told her something creepy when she confronted him.
“He was holding her like he was cradling his own kid,” Medina said. “I yanked her out of his arms and then he tried touching my arm and said, ‘I love you girls and I’ll see you later.’”
Medina called police as neighbors kept an eye on Sherman. They said he walked onto Apache Elementary’s campus during school hours and started to look into the kindergarten classroom windows. Police caught up with Sherman not too far from the school and he denied everything.
Police arrested Sherman and charged him with kidnapping and child abuse.
In his first appearance, Wednesday, his attorney tried to argue there was no evidence of kidnapping. The judge disagreed referring to the criminal complaint, saying Sherman was a complete stranger to Medina and her daughter.
According to prosecutors, he was living in Gallup for the last two years and he’d only been in Albuquerque for a couple weeks.
Medina just wants other parents to be on the look-out.
“You see this kind of stuff on the news and can’t imagine it will happen to you, well yesterday I had to imagine,” she said.
KRQE News 13 checked Sherman’s criminal record and found a long list of arrests, but no sex crimes.
He also had a warrant at the time of his arrest out of Gallup.