TAMPA — A 24-year-old man is in jail after the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said he attempted to kidnap a child from a hotel room Sunday morning.
The child’s mother called authorities at 9:41 a.m., saying that a man unknown to her had come into her hotel room and picked up her child. Police later identified the man as Gabriel Martin of Bradenton.
The mother was able to gain control of the child, and Martin fled on foot as she called for help, the Sheriff’s Office said. Martin was found hiding in the shrubs of a nearby business park, where he was arrested.
The Sheriff’s Office did not release information about the child’s age or the hotel under its interpretation of Marsy’s Law, a constitutional amendment that’s meant to protect crime victims but deprives the public of information that had long been made available under Florida’s public records law.
“Thankfully, the mother and child were not hurt during the course of this incident,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “As a parent myself, I can’t imagine the fear this mother was in when the suspect tried to take her child away from her.”
Chronister said Martin, who remains in jail without bond, will be charged to the fullest extent of the law. His charges include kidnapping, burglary of an occupied dwelling with battery and violation of probation, which he was on for alleged possession of MDMA and armed burglary in Manatee County.