Fashion Square Bungles Apparent Abduction Attempt

On Saturday afternoon, there was what sounds like an attempted child abduction at Fashion Square Mall, NBC-29 reports, but the real story is how badly Fashion Square security handled the incident. A couple was walking through the mall with their two-year-old daughter when a guy picked the girl up and tried to walk off with her. The father chased the guy down, of course, and mall security intervened and…let the guy go. And didn’t so much as call the police. Hours later, presumably starting to doubt that Fashion Square had handled things correctly, the parents called the cops. Now police are looking for a “light skinned black male with glasses…approximately 6′ 3″ tall, weighing 220-235 pounds”—oddly, there is no photograph, despite the presence of security cameras throughout Fashion Square. Media outlets just get “no comment” from Simon Properties, the global real estate conglomerate that owns Fashion Square, so there’s no explanation as to why they just let the guy walk, and why there’s no photo.

11/29 Update: A suspect has been arrested.

11 Responses to “Fashion Square Bungles Apparent Abduction Attempt”


  • This is kind of interesting, to me, in light of the recent claims about the Downtown Mall being a dangerous and off-putting place anymore. I personally have always felt more comfortable on the Mall than in Fashion Square mall, with and without my kids. FSM has always seemed way skeezier than the DM.

  • Yeah, I found that story a few days ago to be pretty funny. CBS-19 accidentally doubled the percentage of survey respondents who said that they think the Downtown Mall is unsafe, and set it at 14%. It’s seven. 7%. Which is to say that 93% of people think that downtown is safe. That’s something to brag about, not a mandate for a security clamp-down on a public space.

  • In that survey, they really should ask that 7% of respondents what *else* they think is unsafe. It might consist of people like my mom, who worry obsessively about EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE. A little bit of context on the mentality of the fearful would be helpful. (That goes both ways–if the context is that the 7% have had genuinely frightening incidents, that would be helpful to know.)

    The newest news is Fashion Square’s (inevitable?) bungling of the post-incident social-media PR. The Daily Progress reports that they’ve been scrubbing angry and negative comments from their FB page. “Nothing to see here, folks, move along, and be sure to bring your toddler to sit on Santa’s lap!”

  • Barboursville C'ville

    A possible kidnapper, tall,
    Grabbied kiddie at Fashion Square Mall.
    They failed to police him;
    Security released him,
    Worse, that was, than no help at all.

  • I still get a kick out of the doggerel. For the record.

  • Yeah this is mega news, almost instantly.

    But its like pulling teeth to get the local media to cover missing teen Dashad Smith. Go ahead, google his name… I’ll wait. See how there is next to no local media coverage? Wait he’s what? Poor, black and transgendered? Ahh. Now I see.

    Now lets remember back to the tornado of media that morgan harrington had a mere 24 HOURS after she went missing. She’s what? Pretty white female? Ah.

    Dont get me wrong, the morgan thing was a tragedy, as was Ms Love and the rest. They deserved all the attention they got. But so does Dashad. Hell there are even email and fb petitions begging the local media to give it more air, and its been two weeks. Meanwhile the “newsplex” is filling its news air time with music videos and bullshit.

    “World Class City”? Oh you have so so far to go, bless your insulated little heart.
    ______________________

    PS Barboursville C’ville? Love the rhyming commentary, but check your meter, yo. Or dont, whatever, just because I have metric OCD doesn’t mean everyone does.

  • I’ve seen several stories on NBC 29 which is my (antenna only) go-to TV station, including one story indicating that the last person known to have an appointment with DaShad has apparently skipped town. Saw a flyer at Brown’s a few hours ago & the woman behind the counter seemed to think there was bad news about to break. Hope she was wrong.

    Must say, had no idea from 29 that the person missing was transgender: only got that from the flyer at Brown’s. And from Belmont Yo.

    Back to the bone-headedness of the Simon out-sourced security: wow, are you guys stupid! And Simon’s Facebook-scrubbing ways didn’t help.

  • Must say, had no idea from 29 that the person missing was transgender: only got that from the flyer at Brown’s. And from Belmont Yo.

    I’ve been on the go for the past week (meetings in D.C., four days at a conference in Phoenix), so I’ve only been able to follow this peripherally, but, yes, this. I saw a couple of stories about a 19-year-old missing and thought “well, yes, 19-year-olds are adults and sometimes go places without telling their parents.” I looked at the photo (which looked for all the world like a mugshot), read the story, and thought “man, I really think there’s more to this story.” Then, days later, I see another story, and the photo…is of a female! What?! This girl (if I understand the coverage, Smith is transgendered, as opposed to cross-dressing or otherwise queer, to use the lingo, so I’m going with the female pronoun) is missing for days before we’re informed that we’re not to be looking for a relatively short-haired 19-year-old man, but a long-haired 19-year-old woman. This seems like an important detail, and I think it’s wholly possible that she would have been found had days not been squandered with useless information. I don’t have the faintest idea of whose fault that is—Smith’s family, the police, media outlets—but somebody screwed up pretty badly here.

  • This seems like an important detail, and I think it’s wholly possible that she would have been found had days not been squandered with useless information

    Its shameful, is what it is. An absolute disgrace.

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