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NOT STRONG ENOUGH? Mom reacts to arrest of man charged with grabbing her son at Walmart

Posted at 8:05 AM, Jan 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 14:20:29-05

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Emily Irrizary says the man who was arrested for grabbing her son at a Lehigh Acres Walmart is getting off easy.

“What I’m upset about is the fact that how could somebody get away with just a misdemeanor...When he stated himself, let’s go and grabbed my son by the wrist and pulled him away from his sister,” Irrizary said.

That's what the Lee County Sheriff's Office says happened. The department posted video of what happened online. They say December 29th, 64-year-old, Pablo Pintueles Hernandez grabbed the four-year-old boy and tried to lead him away from his family.

When deputies arrested Pintueles Hernandez, they listed a charge of False Imprisonment of a Child Under 13-years-old in their report.

However, last week, the State Attorney’s Office charged Hernandez with first degree battery, which is a misdemeanor.

“The definition of battery is to touch or strike someone against their will, so when this guy grabbed the kid that constituted a battery allegedly,” Attorney Spencer Cordell said.

Cordell is a local attorney not involved in this case. He told Fox 4 why prosecutors may have decided to charge Pintueles Hernandez with battery and not attempted kidnapping or false imprisonment.

Cordell said, “The fact that he let go quickly, the fact he was laughing about it or said that he was joking about it. He cooperated with law enforcement. He came in and gave a voluntary statement. His wife backed it up. After the incident he continued shopping and checked out like nothing was wrong. There was really not facts to support he was actually trying to take the kid.”

Fox 4 reached out to the State’s Attorney Office, but a spokesperson said she could not give any information about a potentially pending case.

But, this charge doesn't make Emily feel at peace.

She said, "Now I'm seeking out help because justice needs to be served for all the other children.”

Pablo Pintueles Hernandez’s court date is scheduled for February 14.