Barboursville Police now say the mother of a 5-year-old girl may have misjudged the actions on an Egyptian man at the Huntington Mall and overreacted, which led to him being charged with attempted abduction.
Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, 54, of Alexandria, Egypt, was booked at 12:55 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019.
Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum tells us the incident at the mall happened between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2019.
Officers with the Barboursville Police Department said the woman called 911 telling dispatchers while she and her 5-year-old daughter were inside a department store a man tried to grab the child.
That’s when the mother told police she pulled out a gun scaring the man away.
She then told mall security about the incident.
Mall security and the Barboursville Police Department, using the woman’s description of the man, spotted him in the food court and took him into custody.
Police say in the morning of Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019, detectives returned to the mall.
Video evidence, along with other investigative procedures, revealed some inconsistency with the mother’s original statement, and no witnesses to the alleged crime could be found.
At around 1 PM, the mother was asked to return to the Barboursville Police Department and give another detailed statement.
During the interview with the mother, detectives say they discovered more inconsistencies to the original statement.
She eventually told detectives that she might have misjudged the suspect’s actions, overreacted to the uninvited touching of her daughter, and misinterpreted the intentions of Zayan.
The mother also told police the more she thought about it, the more she realized it might have been a cultural misunderstanding and Zayan might have just been patting her daughter on the head and smiling.
Police say whether or not the mother will be charged and whether Zayan’s charges will be dropped or amended is up to the prosecutors office.