A local woman experienced a scare last week when another woman followed her around Atmore’s Walmart, claiming that the shopper’s 8-year-old son actually belonged to her.
No arrest was made in the December 19 incident after police determined that the woman trying to claim the child suffered from “mental issues” and was apparently not a genuine threat.
“The woman apparently thought the child belonged to her,” explained Atmore Police Department Lt. John Stallworth. “She wasn’t arrested because we ran a check on her and she wasn’t wanted for any crime.”
According to a Facebook posting by the woman who was threatened, she and her son were in the checkout line when the “disturbed” woman came up to them, asked the boy his age and told him he was a “handsome little boy.”
The parent said she had forgotten her bank card and had to call her husband to bring it. Because of that, she offered to let the inquisitive woman go ahead of her.
The woman refused, instead following the woman and boy as they walked around to kill time until her husband got there with her card.
Becoming a little apprehensive over the presence of the unknown woman, the mother asked the woman if she could help her. That’s when things got more bizarre.
The woman reportedly insisted that the child not only looked like her son but was in fact her son. That prompted the mother to call for the store manager, to whom the woman continued to maintain that the child was hers.
When the manager suggested that the obviously addled woman call the police, the woman reportedly replied, “I’m the police,” then walked away. The mother called authorities as the manager and several employees escorted the woman out of the store.
When police arrived, the woman reportedly gave them several different names, birthdates and addresses before providing her real name and admitting that she was actually from Opp. She also admitted that she had no parental claims to the boy.
Stallworth said responding officers decided to not file any charges against the woman, despite the harassment and the possibility she might be under the influence of some substance, if she would get in her vehicle and return to her home. She reportedly did so.
“We determined that she was mentally disturbed,” Stallworth said. “We’re not sure if she actually has a mental condition, or if it might have been chemically induced. She agreed to leave, so we didn’t arrest her.”
The mother was reportedly told that criminal charges would be pursued, if she came in and filed a complaint. No evidence exists to indicate that such a complaint has been filed.