She falsely accused a stranger of trying to abduct her child

She falsely accused a stranger of trying to abduct her child

The woman claimed she used a gun to stop an Egyptian man from kidnapping her daughter in a shopping mall. But the story fell apart amid inconsistencies in her story.

A West Virginia mother whose story about foiling a brazen kidnapping attempt unraveled under questioning has been criminally charged and jailed.



Barboursville Police Detective Greg Lucas tells The Associated Press on Friday that Santana Renee Adams has been charged with falsely reporting an emergency incident, a misdemeanor.

He says Adams turned herself in about 2 p.m. and was jailed after a magistrate judge set bail at $20,000. Lucas said she didn't have an attorney yet.

The charge caps a sensational tale that had Adams using a gun to stop an Egyptian man from kidnapping her daughter in a West Virginia shopping mall. But the story fell apart amid inconsistencies in her story.



On Thursday, authorities announced they were dropping charges against the man, Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, a 54-year-old engineer from Alexandria, Egypt, who was in the area for work. He cried as he greeted family members upon his release from jail.

Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan and attorney Michelle Protzman speak during a news conference Thursday, April 4, 2019, at the Barboursville Police Department in Barboursville, W.Va.

Adams initially told police Zayan grabbed her 5-year-old daughter by the hair inside a clothing store and tried to pull her away but stopped when she produced a gun, authorities said. A criminal complaint went into further detail, describing a frightening scene where a Middle Eastern man dragged the girl by the hair as she dropped to the floor.

But the story started falling apart when no witnesses could be found and mall surveillance video didn't match the woman's original statement.

"There's quite a bit that doesn't line up," Lucas told the AP.



She later told investigators she may have overreacted and misinterpreted the man's intentions. Police said he may have simply been patting the girl on the head.

"Unfortunately, as false accusations are becoming more prevalent in today's social media driven society, we are losing our grasp on 'presumed innocent until proven guilty,' and Mr. Zayan has been tried around the world by the court of public opinion," Zayan's public defender attorney, Michelle Protzman, said in a statement Thursday to The Associated Press.

She falsely accused a stranger of trying to abduct her child
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