Mother tells police suspicious man attempted to hold daughter’s hand

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Law enforcement has a warning for parents.

A Memphis mother tells police she was at the Walmart in Whitehaven when a suspicious man grabbed her 3-year-old daughter's hand and asked her name.

The scare comes at a time when thousands of families across the Mid-South hit the stores for last-minute back to school shopping.

The mother says she was able to grab her daughter and the stranger left.

The woman says the man made her feel uneasy because he never tried to talk to her, just her little girl.

"The number one thing is to keep your kids near, near and dear," said Earle Farrell with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office says this bizarre case is a good reminder to keep a close eye on your children. Never leave them alone and if something does happen, draw attention to yourself.

"Cause a disturbance, say hey I need help over here and the store people will converge, other people will come to help. Don’t be shy about it," said Farrell.

"You should always keep your kids in front of you, you know if you can let them push the basket. You never want to have them walking behind you because in a split second you could turn around and they could be gone," said mother Ieshia Echols.

Other parents WREG talked to were thankful everything is okay.

Mother Alexis Allen says the case hits home.

"I’ve got a 6-year-old, a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. Just be careful, pay close attention.”

The child’s mother said she’s been communicating with police and Walmart to see if they caught the suspicious man on camera