Vancouver mother recounts an attempted kidnapping outside of OMSI

Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 6:28 PM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - A day at the museum turned frightening for one Vancouver mother when a stranger tried to walk away with her son his stroller last Wednesday outside of OMSI.

The woman, who only wanted to use her first name, Kayla, said she just put her toddler in his stroller when a stranger grabbed the handlebars and started walking away. Kayla said the woman started pulling the stroller away when she was putting one of her son’s toys back in the car.

“When I asked her what she was doing, she said ‘well I’m not talking to you anymore,’” Kayla said. “I told her ' you need to get away from my child.’”

Kayla’s son knew something was wrong. He jumped out of the stroller, ran into the car, and shut the door behind him.

“I was sad he had to react like that but also proud he had the instinct to get out of their as quickly as he did,” Kayla said.

After confronting the stranger, Kayla said the woman became aggressive. Out of fear for her and her son’s safety she pulled her gun out of her purse.

“I did have it in my purse, and it felt like a lifetime,” Kayla said. “It felt like time stopped.”

Kayla’s screaming got the attention of an OMSI security guard. He ran over to help. The security guard tracked down the woman while Kayla called 911.

“All I could say to him is please follow her and get her description because I didn’t have anything,” Kayla said. “At that point, I was so shaken up about everything.”

OMSI told FOX 12 over the phone the same woman was kicked out of the museum a short time before. Kayla said the security guard told her it was for panhandling. OMSI declined to confirm that information. They also declined an on camera interview but said this statement over the phone.

“OMSI is committed to a safe and secure environment. We’re very happy this didn’t turn out into a worse scenario.”

FOX 12 also reached out to Portland Police about this incident and claims by Kayla that the woman was released shortly after being arrested. The bureau responded saying the investigator was out of the office and they couldn’t provide anymore information.

For Kayla who was born and raised in the metro area, she said she wants the city of Portland to do something about the crime because she doesn’t feel safe anymore.

“I’ve reinstated my concealed carry permit in Portland because of it,” Kayla said. “It’s sad to see the way it is and it makes me not want to go to Portland at all.”