Deputies: Woman tries to abduct 2 children from Volusia County park, punches pregnant woman

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A 34-year-old Port Orange woman tried to abduct two children from a park in the Wilbur-By-The-Sea neighborhood Monday afternoon before punching a pregnant woman, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies said they were called shortly before 1:30 p.m. to Toronita Avenue Beach Park at Toronita and South Atlantic avenues after two parents reported they had to pull their children away from Sarah Freeman, Sheriff's Office spokesman Andrew Gant said.

Investigators said Freeman approached a 7-year-old Palm Coast girl and told her, "This isn’t a Florida trip you’re going to want to remember," and tried to grab her by the towel she was wearing.

The girl's mother, who is six months pregnant, pulled her daughter away from Freeman, who hit the woman during the struggle, deputies said.

Investigators said Freeman approached Aaron Frazier, whose backside she struck with a stick before saying, "We don’t know you around here."

"She told his 5-year-old son, 'It will be all right. He's not your dad,' grabbed him by the arm and started to walk away," Gant said. "The father intervened, got his son back and took him back to his truck, where Freeman tried to force her way in through a passenger window."

Frazier, who said he has visited the park since childhood, said Freeman approached them in the showers and grabbed his son's hand.

"She stood there, turned around to my son and said, 'That's not your daddy. I'm going to protect you. I am going to call child services,'" Frazier said. "I literally (put) my son into the truck soaking wet, shut the door, got in there and locked the door."

Deputies said Freeman turned to another woman and said, "I'll just take your kid, then."

The woman took her child into their vehicle and locked the doors, investigators said.

"Once in custody, she mumbled and made unintelligible statements to a deputy, who noticed she appeared to be under the influence of some unknown substance," Gant said.

Freeman was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail on two counts of attempted kidnapping and one count each of aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, burglary of a conveyance and battery. She is being held without bail.

Freeman appeared jittery and muttered at people during a Tuesday afternoon court hearing.

"I had no idea I had these charges until just this morning," she said.

Freeman's father, Lonnie Freeman, asked a judge to have his daughter undergo a drug test and a psychological evaluation.

Sarah Freeman appeared agitated when she saw her father in court.

"I want him gone," she said.

Lonnie Freeman said his daughter is homeless. He said her children were living with him, but one of them has recently moved in with the child's grandmother.

Freeman has been arrested nine times since 2011 on charges ranging from assault to grand theft.

Frazier said Monday's incident won't hinder him from returning to the park with his son.

"I told him, 'She's not in her normal state. She needs Jesus,'" he said.