A 20-year-old Long Island woman has been arrested, accused of trying to snatch a 6-year-old girl from inside a tax preparer's office Monday, police say.
Lela Witts, 20, of Roosevelt, was inside Liberty Tax Services on Merrick Road at about 8:30 p.m. when she grabbed the girl and pulled her outside to the sidewalk, Nassau police said.
Business owner Michael Thompson recalled the mother and daughter walking into his office, and "a lady came in behind her, tried to snatch her daughter.
The girl's horrified mother ran after them, and struggled with Witts.
"I thought it was crazy, I didn't know what the hell was going on," said a neighboring store owner.
Court documents say Witts kept telling the mother, "I want your daughter."
One witness said he watched the mom fight to free the girl: "One of them was punching the other."
Finally, the mother was able to free her daughter and bring her back into the office, where she notified police. One of Thompson's employees followed Witts across the street into a diner and pointed her out to responding officers, police said.
No one was hurt.
Witts was arraigned on charges of second-degree attempted kidnapping and second-degree unlawful imprisonment in First District Court in Hempstead Tuesday.
Attorney information for the woman wasn't immediately clear.
"I don't know what possess her to take the child," said the neighboring store owner.