Police are looking for a man accused of following a 14-year-old girl around a St. Paul store and threatening to kidnap her.
James Nicholson, 43, who is homeless, was recently charged by the St. Paul city attorney’s office with disorderly conduct in the summer incident. He remains at large.
According to the complaint and an arrest warrant issued Wednesday:
Nicholson was with another man on Aug. 30 when they approached the girl about 4 p.m. She was alone in an aisle at the Wal-Mart on University Avenue in St. Paul.
“I’m gonna snatch her up and put her in the car,” Nicholson said, according to the charges. “No, she’s with her mom,” the other man said.
The girl left to look for her brother and mother, the complaint said. The girl and her mother reported the incident to an off-duty police officer at the store. “The victim appeared terrified and as she spoke to the officer, she explained, ‘I thought they were going to take me away from my mom,’ ” the complaint said. “She then began to sob openly.”
The girl told police that the men did not touch her but that they followed her, smiling, as she fled for help.
Store surveillance video shows the men near the girl, the charges said.
“[L]ater, Nicholson is seen on camera watching the victim in the vestibule outside the store for a period of time,” the charges said.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib