Two children pinched by woman at bookstore

A woman is accused of biting two children at a Mountain View bookstore.

January 13, 2012 1:21:20 PM PST
In Mountain View, 46-year-old Polly Beltramo is accused of pinching two children at a bookstore.

The woman was originally believed to have bitten the children, but a police investigation found that the injuries were not consistent with bite marks. Police believe the suspect pinched both kids' cheeks. The only person who saw what happened was a toddler and there are no other witnesses.

It happened around 1 p.m. on Thursday. The two kids were treated and released, so they are OK. The store co-owner of BookBuyers bookstore says the injuries weren't too terrible, but he says the mother seemed quite traumatized.

Los Altos resident Scott Leonard read the original reports of biting on the on the Internet. He told us he thought, "That's freakish, you know, right near where I hang out."

Downtown Mountain View is where a lot of people hang out.

"One of the employees ran to me and said 'There's great trouble down there,'" said Hotranatha Ajaya.

Ajaya is one of the owners of BookBuyers bookstore on Castro Street. He didn't see that actual encounter, but was there when it happened.

"Some other woman came up to the lady's little girl and then the girl started running to her mother saying, 'That lady bit me,' and she had a big welt or something on her cheek," said Ajaya.

But that wasn't all. While the mother was tending to her daughter in the store's children's section, Ajaya said, "Suddenly the little boy, who's just a couple months old, started screaming and they went to him and his cheek was bleeding."

The woman ran out of the store, but was later found by police at this nearby Starbucks, thanks to a witness who was able to give a good description. Beltramo of Palo Alto was arrested and charged with felony child abuse.

"That's crazy, it's just crazy. Who bites people exactly?" said Charlie.

Charlie and Samantha are two pre-teen girls who come Downtown almost every day with their aunt and they often go into BookBuyers.

"I'm kind of shocked that's kind of freaky and funky," said Stacy Dow.

Dow says it makes her think twice about going into BookBuyers again, but she realizes it's not the store's fault.

"Obviously it was a crazy person, so maybe we'll just wait a while before we go back. We'll probably go there again," said Dow.

Ajaya hopes that's the case. The store has been at their location for 17 years.

"We've had troubles from time to time rarely, but never one person attacking another, ever and I hope it will be longer than 17 year next time," said Ajaya.

The people ABC7 spoke to said their not too concerned about this since they feel it was an isolated incident. They were also happy to know that someone was arrested.