An Arizona woman who allegedly snatched a 4-year- old boy from a fast-food restaurant in downtown Los Angeles but was stopped outside by a witness was charged Friday with kidnapping and grand theft auto.
Maralyn Ramos -- who said in an outburst shortly before her case was called that she tried to help the child find his parents -- pleaded not guilty and was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $170,000 bail.
Ramos is due back in court May 31, and could face up to 11 years and eight months in state prison if convicted as charged.
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Ramos, 33, allegedly carried the boy out of a McDonald's restaurant at 1310 E. Olympic Blvd. about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday and tried to get into a parked vehicle with him before being stopped by a witness, then ran off on foot, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The alleged abduction attempt was captured on the restaurant's security video.
Ramos was spotted in a stolen car and taken into custody about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday at Agatha and San Pedro streets in the downtown Los Angeles area, according to Deputy District Attorney R.J. Dreiling.
Police initially suspected that Ramos also tried to kidnap another 4-year-old boy, but later determined she was not involved in that incident.
That second attempted kidnapping occurred about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, when a woman -- since identified as 28-year-old Dominique Del Villar, who is homeless in the downtown Los Angeles area -- approached a boy who was walking alongside a family member on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near San Pedro Street and attempted to walk away with him before being stopped by a witness, according to the LAPD.
Del Villar remains at large.