Father details moments he says man tried to kidnap daughter at knifepoint

Father details moments he says man tried to kidnap daughter at knifepoint

COBB COUNTY — A local father says his family is relying on faith to get them through a difficult time after a man attempted to kidnap his daughter at knifepoint inside the food court of a Cobb County mall.

The father, who asked not to be identified, met with police Friday to come up with a sketch of another person of interest in the case.

He met with Channel 2's Chris Jose moments before walking into the police station and described to him the frightening moment when his daughter was attacked in front of him.

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“I guess about a two-minute period went by, Chris, and then I heard a loud scream,” he said.

The father said the screams echoed through the restroom hallway near the food court of the Town Center Mall on Tuesday.

“I began to walk toward the restroom. I was simply 5 feet away,” the father said.

At first, he told Jose he didn’t realize it was his 11-year old who needed help.

“As I began to walk, I heard another scream about five seconds later, and then my daughter approached me,” the father said.


The father said his little girl was crying and pointed out Danzell Mitchell.

“And I said, ‘That is who?’ She said, ‘That’s the guy.’ And then I hollered out to the guy,” the father told Jose.

Cellphone video shows the moments when another man and the father tacked the alleged attacker to the ground.

It wasn’t until after police questioned the 11-year-old that the father realized what happened inside the restroom.

“He grabbed her, pulled her to him and held her with one arm, and then took the other hand and put a knife up to her throat,” the father said. “He told her to be quiet and then began to cover her mouth as she cried.”

The father told Jose that he was in the same room as the alleged attacker when police questioned him about the steak knife in his pocket.

“I simply spoke out to him, ‘If you’re looking for protection in my life my friend, you need to look toward Jesus. You don’t need to carry around a knife with you,’” the father said.

Three days after the attempted kidnapping, he said his daughter is shaken, but not broken.

“She honestly believes that the only way she got out of the trouble that she was in was that she believes God was with her,” the father said.

The father said he remembers a woman also being involved. He was working with police to come up with a sketch of her as a person of interest.