LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An Arizona woman who allegedly snatched a 4-year-old boy from a fast-food restaurant in downtown Los Angeles but was stopped outside by a witness was charged today with kidnapping and grand theft auto.
Maralyn Ramos -- who said in an outburst shortly before her case was called that she tried to help the child find his parents -- pleaded not guilty and was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $170,000 bail.
She is due back in court May 31, and could face up to 11 years and eight months in state prison if convicted as charged.
Ramos, 33, allegedly carried the boy out of a McDonald's restaurant at 1310 E. Olympic Blvd. about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday and tried to get into a parked vehicle with him before being stopped by a witness, then ran off on foot, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The alleged abduction attempt was captured on the restaurant's security video.
Ramos was spotted in a stolen car and taken into custody about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday at Agatha and San Pedro streets in the downtown Los Angeles area, according to Deputy District Attorney R.J. Dreiling.
Police initially suspected that Ramos also tried to kidnap another 4- year-old boy, but later determined she was not involved in that incident.
That second attempted kidnapping occurred about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, when a woman approached a boy who was walking alongside a family member on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near San Pedro Street and attempted to walk away with him before being stopped by a witness, according to the LAPD. That woman also fled on foot.
According to an LAPD statement, “detectives have determined that the second attempt kidnapping incident was not committed by the same suspect and there is no connection between Ramos and the suspect detectives are looking to identify. The suspect in that case is still at large. Detectives are releasing video of that incident and need the community's help to identify her.”