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Video, report detail attempted child abduction at Hartsfield-Jackson

The video shows the moment a mother and father find themselves struggling to protect their children.

Newly released video and a police report reveal more about the frantic moment when a woman allegedly tried to kidnap a child at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The video released by the Atlanta Police Department actually shows what happened moments before an Atlanta Police Officer responded.

In it, the mother and the woman can be seen walking into the camera view with the suspect, later identified as Esther Daniels, keeping her hand on the handle of the stroller.

Credit: Clayton County Sheriff's Office
Esther Daniels

Several feet to their left, another man is seen walking with a stroller. The report states he's the children's father.  While the video doesn't have audio, something alerts him that something is wrong and he quickly moves to where his wife and Daniels are struggling over the stroller and child in it.

The father appears in the video to be attempting to break up the bizarre situation. But the video shows Daniels attempt to pull one of the children out of his arms.

Her initial attempt ends when an officer or security guard rushes in and begins pursuing Daniels. The family regroups and begins comforting the children as more officers walk into the frame.

Several seconds later the woman is shown on camera struggling to break away from officers and run toward the family again. The camera then focuses in on several officers once again working to get her under control on the floor of the atrium.

What the police report says

The report provided by the Atlanta Police Department appears to begin moments before Daniels allegedly made that second run at the family.

The report, filed by Officer D. Jenkins indicates she was on the second floor of the atrium when she heard a fight call alerted over the radio. Jenkins said in the report that she heard women screaming and made her way down the escalator to the distraught mother next to an agent.

The report states Daniels was standing near a display vehicle and talking on a cell phone.  As Officer Jenkins asked her what was wrong, Daniels allegedly tried to pass her phone to the officer to talk to someone. But Daniels was described as experiencing mental distress.

"Ms. Daniels wasn't able to speak in a manner to where I was able to understand her," Officer Jenkins wrote. "Daniels continue[d] to blurt out things that made me believe that she was in some type of mental distress."

When the officer tried to grab the phone, she said Daniels then took off toward the family - and the children. Jenkins said she tried to grab the escaping woman's arm but failed to slow her down. Officer Jenkins then grabbed her by the waist to pull her to a stop said that Daniels continued to resist.

The report states that it took two pairs of handcuffs and she continued to fight officers even after being placed in a wheelchair.

The mother of the children Daniels allegedly tried to take said she and her family were walking through the atrium when she came up to her and tried to grab the stroller her child was in. She said that when she grabbed the stroller back away from Daniels, the woman then grabbed her oldest son before being stopped by her husband.

Daniels ultimately faced charges of kidnapping and obstruction. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital but then moved to the Clayton County Jail.


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