Homeless Steele Creek Man Arrested After Police Say He Tried to Kidnap Child

CHARLOTTE, NC – Charlotte Mecklenburg police arrested a homeless Steele Creek man after he tried to rob and kidnap a child.

The scary situation happened as dozens of kids at the Windgate Place apartments were getting ready for school on Tuesday morning.

“It’s kind of scary to know that it happened this close to home,” said Jeanina, a Windgate Place resident.

Police say Hector Martinez hit a nine-year-old boy, pulled him a few feet, and tried to take his backpack. Martinez ran off after a short struggle. The boy wasn’t seriously hurt.

Martinez was later arrested in a shopping center parking lot about a block away from the complex.

“I talk to my son frequently, like make sure you don’t go to strangers, scream, kick, go to an adult,” said Jeanina.

She continued saying she makes sure her son isn’t alone while walking to the bus stop, and also says she looks out for other kids in the neighborhood.

“To think, like, man, that could have easily been my son,” said Jeanina, “I mean thank God, hopefully, they didn’t get hurt.”

Jail records show Martinez has been arrested four times since 2017 for crimes like breaking into cars and assault with a deadly weapon.

He is now charged with second-degree kidnapping and robbery.