We got a call from someone yesterday reporting an "attempted child abduction" on Wednesday afternoon at Wal-Mart on Route 9 in Queensbury.
We heard the call to police on the scanner, and when we didn't hear a followup call for an investigator, it didn't seem that it would be newsworthy. If there was an actual attempted abduction, police almost always quickly publicize it, from my experience.
A person who call used Thursday though said there was a coverup afoot and the store staff was directed not to speak about the incident.
I figured out that the Warren County Sheriff's Office was the agency sent to the store to deal with the call. Sheriff's Lt. Steve Stockdale said the commotion that led to the call was a case of a would-be good samaritan having her actions misinterpreted.
He said store security was dealing with a shoplifter who was becoming combative in one of the exits to the store where a number of people were coming and going. A woman who saw the scuffle headed toward a shopping cart where there was a child who appeared unattended grabbed the child and picked him or her up.
The child's parent was nearby, and turned to see someone else holding her child and assumed the worst. When it was sorted out, it became clear the woman picked up the child to try to protect it, and made no effort to actually move away or leave the store, Stockdale said.
"The whole thing was on video," Stockdale said. "There was no bad intent."
So that's the story of the child "abduction" that the store staff is trying to "cover up."
-- Don Lehman