PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — An 18-year-old woman is facing a kidnapping charge, accused of taking a 9-year-old boy from a city pool on Pittsburgh’s North Side on Wednesday evening.
Police have charged Karastine Muyango, of Braddock, with kidnapping for ransom.READ MORE: Handling Hypothermia And Children: Tips From One Pediatrician On Keeping Kids Warm
According to the criminal complaint, Muyango told police she took the boy because she wanted him to go with her to her boyfriend’s house in Braddock “so that one day he would have a child with her.”
Investigators say officers were first called to the Sue Murray Pool on Cedar Avenue just after 6 p.m. The boy’s mother Erika Strausser and a lifeguard called the police.
The criminal complaint reports the boy was swimming with friends and family when some of them decided to venture over to the Sunoco gas station across the street for snacks and drinks.
Police say the children did not have any money to pay, and that’s when Muyango offered to help them. One of the victim’s cousins told police the woman also offered her $20 to go home with her.
The children went back to the pool, and a while later, the boy said he decided to leave and go back to his mother’s apartment. He told police on his way, he stopped and sat down near a fence because his foot was hurting him.
“She caught him by himself,” said Strausser.READ MORE: Springdale Man Accused Of Stealing Debit Card From Man’s Wheelchair
The criminal complaint says that’s when Muyango allegedly came up to him, grabbed him by the arm, walked away with him and forced him onto a “green” bus heading downtown. The boy said she kept calling him a family member.
One of the boy’s family members witnessed the incident and called a lifeguard over. He called 911, and the family member ran to the mother’s apartment.
The criminal complaint reports that while on the bus Muyango called her boyfriend and told him she was bringing the boy home, but he told her he was not there and “to not bring the kid over to the house.”
The pair eventually returned to the North Side where the boy’s family was waiting for him. Muyango started walking away, but police arrested her nearby.
“There is no apology for that,” Strausser said. “There is no reason that something like that can be forgiven.”
The boy was not hurt.
Strausser said she is a nervous-wreck and walks her son to the pool, which is almost at the back door of their apartment building.
“I’m terrified,” said Strausser, who now stay at the pool. “I’m not going to let him out of my eyesight.”MORE NEWS: Police, Auto Mechanic Rescue Cat Stuck In Car
Muyango is being held in the Allegheny County Jail and has a preliminary hearing Aug. 14.