An elderly Walmart customer got the twisted impression that he could purchase anything he saw in the super store.
Hellmuth Kolb was arrested after pressuring a mother to sell him her daughter inside the store on Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange, Florida.
Tracy Nigh was sitting on a bench with her 8-year-old daughter when Kolb approached them. When the 81-year-old asked Nigh if she was married, the woman thought he was harmless.
"It seemed like a friendly conversation," Nigh told WXYZ Detroit, an ABC affiliate news station. "He didn't seem like a threat at first."
But the brief exchange took a disturbing turn when he proposed buying her daughter. He made an initial offer of $100,000.
"The first amount was $100,000, the second amount was $150,000 and then the final amount was $200,000," Nigh said. "I then said 'No, we have to go.'"
I think what was going through my mind was, 'What was going to happen here?' and I just need to get her away as quickly as possible.
As Nigh got up to leave with her daughter, Kolb grabbed the girl's hand and kissed her wrist. Walmart's surveillance cameras captured the incident.
Nigh immediately notified Walmart security about the disturbing encounter and fled.
Deputies were able to identify Kolb through a credit card transaction, and another woman reached out to police on Facebook and shared a similar experience with a man fitting the same description as Kolb.
When officers confronted Kolb at his residence, he told them he recalled meeting Nigh and her daughter but had no recollection of grabbing the young girl, according to WNDB Radio.
Kolb was charged with simple battery and false imprisonment after being identified from a photo lineup and was booked into the Volusia County Jail on Saturday.
He was later released.
People expressed legitimate concerns for the safety of the community.
One person suggested Kolb's mental stability may be deteriorating.
Nigh posted about her encounter with Kolb on Facebook to warn others.
I felt like it was a duty to my community that I needed to warn other parents. The more that come forward the better I think for this and for the community.