A Florida man is facing charges after he allegedly attempted to buy an 8-year-old girl from her mother while shopping at Walmart.
According to WKMG TV, Hellmuth Kolb was arrested on Saturday after a woman claimed that he approached her while she was sitting on a bench inside the Port Orange Walmart with her daughter. The woman, Tracy Nigh, told police that 81-year-old Kolb asked her if she was married before changing the subject to her daughter.
“It seemed like a friendly conversation. He didn’t seem like a threat at first,” Nigh said to the station. That is, until Kolb allegedly started badgering the mother about whether or not she would sell her daughter to him.
“The first amount was $100,000, the second amount was $150,000 and then the final amount was $200,000,” Nigh recalled. “I then said ‘No, we have to go.’” Nigh said when she and her daughter got up to leave, Kolb allegedly grabbed the girl’s wrist and kissed it, according to WJAX TV. Nigh proceeded to alert store security, who confirmed that the incident was all caught on camera.
Kolb was later identified through his credit card transaction, and was charged with simple battery and false imprisonment and booked into the Volusia County Jail before being released.
Police said they’ve had at least one other report of a similar incident a month ago involving a man who fit Kolb’s description.
Officers say that when they interviewed Kolb at his residence, he said he remembered sitting next to a mother and her daughter at the Walmart. Though he admitted complimenting the woman, he claims that he did not remember grabbing her daughter, according to WNDB radio.
The victim later picked Kolb from a photo lineup.
A judge has ordered that Kolb is not to have any contact with the girl or her mother.