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Suspect who tried to steal infant in Tampa park arrested, charged

NEW TAMPA — Police arrested a 22-year-old man on an attempted kidnapping charge Friday after they say he tried to snatch a baby from her mother's arms.

James Wood approached the woman and her two children at the park on Tampa Palms Boulevard about 1:30 p.m. Monday, police said. He grabbed her shoulder and turned her around, and the woman screamed and ran. Several families saw the incident, police said. Police at first said that the man's behavior was suspicious, but that his intent was not known.

A park security guard saw Wood chasing the woman, and the guard then chased Wood into a heavily wooded swampy area off the south side of the park. Police searched for Wood with air and canine patrols, but lost sight of him.

Wood's picture was distributed, and he was found at a local hospital within hours of the incident. He was released from the hospital Thursday and immediately taken into custody.

Wood was charged with one count of attempted kidnapping. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail, where he was held without bail.

Suspect who tried to steal infant in Tampa park arrested, charged 08/08/14 [Last modified: Friday, August 8, 2014 10:16pm]
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