Nicolas M. Sternaman (Miami-Dade Police and WPLG screenshot)
A 26-year-old man in Florida has been arrested after he was allegedly caught on film trying to abduct a 4-year-old boy as he was exiting a CVS Pharmacy with his parents in Miami Beach.
Nicolas M. Sternaman, whose alleged kidnapping attempt was immediately thwarted by the child’s father, was taken into custody on Thursday and charged with one count each of kidnapping a child under age 13, battery, and aggravated child abuse, records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
Surveillance footage of the attempted kidnapping, which took place at 11:55 a.m. on Thursday at a CVS at 7400 Collins Avenue, was posted online by several local news outlets.
The footage shows a man who appears to be Sternaman standing just outside the store’s exit and entering. Just as the 4-year-old victim’s mother walks by his left, the suspect makes a hard turn to his left and appears to violently try to lift the child off the ground, putting his left arm around the child’s body and grabbing the boy’s neck with his right hand.
However, the boy’s parents did not hesitate to help their son. The father almost immediately grabs the suspect in a bearhug and pulls him back into the store, causing the alleged kidnapper to drop the child onto the ground. At that point, the boy’s mother had already turned around, and she almost instantaneously grabbed her son off the ground, picked him up, and rushed back into the store.
Meanwhile, the father and the suspect grapple for a few seconds, during which the father pulls off the suspect’s jacket, which was left behind when he fled.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Miami Fox affiliate WSVN, after ensuring his son was safe with his mother, the father and another man chased after Sternaman. Officers with the Miami-Dade Police Department responded to the scene, where they observed the father and the witness running after the suspect, who was running south on Collins Avenue.
While running from the scene, the suspect took off a sweater he had been wearing and threw it, Miami ABC affiliate WPLG reported.
Police took over the pursuit of the suspect, catching up with him on Harding Avenue near 71st Street.
Sternaman was transported to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Facility. Records show that his bond on the kidnapping and child abuse charges is yet to be set.
Court records show that Sternaman was arrested on Jan. 4 and charged with one count of petit theft. He was released from detention after posting $150 bond. His trial in that case is scheduled to begin on April 1.
“It’s insane what happens around here,” a resident told Miami NBC affiliate WTVJ.
Another told the station, “It’s disgusting