The mom lost sight of her daughter for just a moment in the crowd at the Harry Potter ride.
As News 6 reports, the mother and 9-year-old girl were in the locker area of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Orlando on Sunday. The distracted mom lost track of her daughter for just a second, but in that time, the young girl was approached by a stranger who she claims tried to kidnap her.
The man, 23-year-old Jason Mikel of Illinois, allegedly walked up to the girl and put his hands on her shoulders. He then told her to go outside where her mother was waiting for her.
A witness told police that Mikel told the girl, “Mommy is over here.” The witness added that the girl looked frightened. The girl broke away from Mikel, and ran to her mother.
After confirming that the mom didn’t know Mikel, the witness reported the incident to park security. Park staff confronted Mikel near the Hogwarts Express ride. He was taken into police custody after the girl identified him.
Mikel was charged with attempted kidnapping and battery as well as possession of cannabis (found during a police search during the arrest). However, according to Fox 35, just three days after Mikel’s arrest, a judge ruled that there is not enough probable cause to support being held on the kidnapping charge.
Mikel is being released on his own recognizance on the kidnapping charge but was given bonds of $100 and $500 on the possession and battery charges. In the meantime, Universal Studios has indefinitely banned Mikel from all of its properties.