Police: Mom changes story about abduction attempt in West Virginia


Handgun in a dark room lit by a single light source (source: Getty)

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UPDATE: Police say the mom has recanted her story about pulling a gun to stop an abduction at a West Virginia mall; instead, the woman told police there may have been a “cultural misunderstanding,” saying the man may have simply been patting her daughter on the head and smiling.

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BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va.— Police in West Virginia say a man was trying to abduct a child at a mall when the mother stopped him by pulling out a gun.

News outlets report 54-year-old Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan of Alexandria, Egypt, was arraigned Monday night in Cabell County Magistrate Court on a felony charge of an attempted abduction.

According to a criminal complaint, a woman was shopping with her 5-year-old daughter at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville when a man grabbed the girl by the hair and tried to pull her away. Police say the mother pulled out a gun and told the suspect to let go of the child. The man released the child and was later detained by mall security and Barboursville police near a food court.

Zayan was being jailed on a $200,000 cash bond. Jail records didn’t indicate whether he has an attorney.

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