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Police: Clermont County woman tried to take 4-year-old from playground

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Posted at 7:16 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 21:08:40-04

BATAVIA, Ohio — A Clermont County woman has been charged with attempted kidnapping and two counts of abduction after police said she walked up to a 4-year-old girl on a swing set, picked the child up and attempted to place her into an empty stroller.

Crystal Harrison, 38, was indicted on Tuesday by a Clermont County Grand Jury. She is not related to the 4-year-old girl or any member of the child's family.

The Clermont County Sheriff's Office said a 911 call was made on Sept. 15 at around 7:28 p.m., reporting a disturbance at the playground area at 700 University Lane in Batavia.

When police arrived, two witnesses told officers they were caring for the 4-year-old girl when Harrison walked up, picked the girl up from the swing and carried her to an empty stroller nearby. Witnesses said Harrison put the girl down to prep the stroller and the 4-year-old ran.

After the girl fled, witnesses said, Harrison left the area and went into a nearby apartment building.

Police said after that, a 14-year-old witness followed Harrison and took note of which apartment she entered. This later helped police identify and arrest Harrison.

Although Harrison denied to police that she'd tried to take the 4-year-old, surveillance footage from the apartment complex matched the story told by witnesses at the playground, showing Harrison taking the child off the swing and carrying her in a supine position to the empty stroller.

The child was not hurt during the incident and was immediately returned to her family.

Harrison went before a judge Wednesday asking for time to find a lawyer. Unless she can come up with a $100,000 bond, she’ll stay behind bars.

Prosecutor Baron Allen said this case is a reminder of just how precious our children are.

“I think community has to watch out for each other. Frankly, you’ve never seen it like this,” Allen said. “The phrase 'It takes a village,' and in this case that came into play.”

Harrison will be back in court next month.