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Woman snatches baby walking next to her mother, police say

Rita Ramirez arrested in Casselberry

CASSELBERRY, Fla. – A woman was arrested Wednesday in Casselberry on allegations of grabbing a baby who was walking next to her mother.

Rita Ramirez, 39, of Sanford, was arrested on a charge of kidnapping a minor under the age of 13, according to a Casselberry police report.

Police said the mother left the Hollywood Beauty Institute, where she was applying to become a student, and her 10-month-old daughter was walking next to her. A woman, later identified by police as Ramirez, was walking toward them and grabbed the girl, police said.

"A lady -- she just tried to kidnap my baby," the mother is heard telling a 911 operator shortly after it happened.

The mother was able to take back her daughter and ran back into the Hollywood Beauty Institute, but Ramirez followed them and continued to try to kidnap the child, according to police.

"She came up to me and tried to grab my baby, and I had to run into a local business, and they had to kick her out because she was trying to take my child," the mother told the dispatcher.

"Do you know this person?" the operator asked.

"No, I don't know this person," she said.

The woman and her baby were escorted to her car, where she called 911, according to authorities.

A witness said she saw Ramirez "grab" the baby and the mother was able to "yank" her daughter back, according to officials.

Surveillance video shows Casselberry police locating Ramirez at a car wash across the street.

Police said she was arrested and charged with kidnapping. She's being held in the Seminole County Jail on no bond.

According to court records, Ramirez was arrested for domestic violence in 2015, and she was barred from seeing her children as a result.

Last year, she was ordered by a judge to seek professional mental health treatment.

When officers asked Ramirez why she tried to take the child, she said, "I'm sorry. I don't know why I did it," according to police.


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