A 42-year-old Sebastopol woman was arrested Wednesday after a strange and crazed-sounding incident in the Richmond District that likely terrified a caregiver caring for two small children.
According to San Francisco Police Department Public Information Officer Adam Lobsinger, the incident happened Wednesday around 3 p.m. on Lake Street, near Arguello, in the Richmond District. A 31-year-old woman was on the street with a 22-month-old boy beside her and a 1-year-old in a stroller. As KTVU reports, the caregiver was approached by a stranger, identified by police as Erin Williams, 42, of Sebastopol.
Williams allegedly snatched the older child and began running off with him. The caregiver gave chase and took the child back, but according to police, Williams came back and then tried to take the 1-year-old out of the stroller. Because the child was belted in and Williams couldn't get the child free fast enough, she allegedly ran off.
Williams was eventually located by the SFPD and arrested, and she was booked on charges of kidnapping and child endangerment.
Update: KTVU subsequently spoke with the father of the boy who was initially snatched, Bryant Chou, who explained that the woman was his son's nanny, and that they were waiting outside of a preschool to pick up his three-year-old daughter. The nanny had her own 6-month-old son in the stroller. Chou said that police told him this was not Williams's first attempt at kidnapping, and that she may be mentally ill and homeless.
According to SF Sheriff's Department arrest records, Erin Marie Williams was booked just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday on four counts. Her age is listed as 42, though KTVU had her age as 34.
Charges have not yet been filed against Williams and no court date has been set.
Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD tip line at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You can remain anonymous.