Cobb County

Police: Man tried twice to kidnap little boy inside metro Atlanta Walmart

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Police want to know if a man accused of trying to kidnap a 9-year-old boy not once but twice in a Walmart bathroom has done it before.

According to the Marietta Police Department, 51-year-old Michael Beltran tried to kidnap the boy Monday at the Walmart on Cobb Parkway South.

The boy's mother Tomi Cooper said a conversation they had about stranger danger and self defense helped her son get away.

"That's why you have to teach your kids how to fight. Because if you don't fight, they'll take you," Tomi Cooper told Channel 2's Chris Jose. 

Investigators told Jose that Beltran told the boy his mom had left and he needed to go with him. He then grabbed the child by the arm, but the boy was able to run away.


Cooper said she was shopping nearby and her older son waited outside of the men's restroom. His brother sprinted for help and Cooper called 911 after she saw Beltran walk out.

Cooper said her family spent that night locked in their bedroom because the children were afraid. She has a message for Beltran.

"I hope that he stays in jail forever and he never has a chance to put his hand on another child," she said.

Officers arrested Beltran in the store. Now they are working to find out if there are more victims.

"Everyone in Marietta goes to that Walmart. It’s concerning not knowing what his intent was. The little boy did everything right," Officer Jared Rakestraw told Jose.