CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A Chesterfield girl is safe after police say a man attempted to snatch her from a grocery store.
The alleged abductor is behind bars and the 10-year-old girl is credited with fighting back. This all happened Monday night at a Food Lion at Hull Street and Walmsley Boulevard.
The suspect, Rolando Rodriguez, made his first appearance in court Tuesday. Police say around 6 p.m. Monday evening he watched as the girl entered the store's bathroom alone. The girl told police, once inside the stall, she heard someone come in, recognizing it was a man by his shoes.
As the girl was exiting the stall the man exposed himself and pulled out a hand knife. Chesterfield police say he made moves, trying to grab the girl, when she pushed and shoved her way out of the bathroom -- notifying an adult. Rodriguez was arrested. He's in jail without bond.
"Thank God that she knew what to do," said one local grandmother.
This grandmother isn't stunned by the news.
"Very safe grocery store. I think it could happen anywhere," she said.
She's keeping a close eye on her own 10-year-old granddaughter.
"People are doing so many things. Ugly things. Things that when I was young I wouldn't even imagine they could do," the grandmother said.
Rodriguez's attorney, Charles Phelps, says the 26-year-old faces charges of indecent exposure, attempted malicious wounding and abduction with intent to defile.
"I believe it carries up to life. They also indicated that a new charge may be placed for taking indecent liberties with a child," Phelps said.
The little girl escaped unharmed. In a court hearing later this month, the victim may have to tell the judge what happened. It may be the only way this case moves forward.
Rodriguez is due back in court December 29 for a pre-trial hearing.