Panic was ignited at a West Virginia mall on Monday after a mom claimed a man tried to kidnap her 5-year-old daughter in an Old Navy store.
The mother told police that she had to pull a gun on the man, Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, after he tried to grab her daughter away by yanking her hair, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.
Zayan fled the store and was later taken into custody after he was located in the food court. He was then put in jail on an attempted abduction charge.
However, mall security footage showed the interaction played out differently than the mother described to police.
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And now, she may be the one facing charges.
Police Sgt. Anthony Jividen said that footage showed the man may have just been patting the little girl on the head and smiling at her.
As Zayan is from Egypt and doesn’t speak English, he said there may have been a “cultural misunderstanding,” WHSV reports.
The mother told prosecutors that she potentially overreacted to the situation. She may now be charged with filing a false police report.
Zayan, who is an engineer, was released on Tuesday on a reduced bond. He was described as “openly weeping” when he reunited with his family, according to WDTV.
The abduction charge has not been officially dropped and Zayan may face a battery charge for “the uninvited touching of a child.” Jividen said:
“Even though there was an overreaction by the mother, it was not completely baseless.”
Neither Zayan nor the mother have spoken out publicly regarding the incident.