Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping in Mountain View

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- A grandmother in Mountain View is recovering after she fought off a woman who tried to kidnap her grandchild Wednesday afternoon. The suspect was identified by Mountain View police as Schauntel Gomez, 31.

Gomez was arrested at 2 a.m. Thursday morning.

The attempted abduction happened at 4 p.m. on Wednesday along the 400 block of Fairmont Avenue, in the area of Fairmont Park.

Police said a toddler, mother and grandmother were approached by Gomez. The victims reported the suspect was wearing a white mask over her mouth at the time of the attempted kidnapping.

Gomez's bizarre actions were followed by an even more brazen demand.

"A woman had driven up, stopped, gotten out of her car, came over and said, 'I am here to take your child,'" said Katie Nelson, Mountain View Police Department spokesperson.

She told ABC7 News that Gomez is a transient out of Monterey County.

Nelson explained that when Gomez reached to take the child, the toddler's grandmother took action and fought back. In the scuffle, the grandmother suffered injuries to her head but did not have to be taken to the hospital.

After a failed attempted to grab the toddler, police said Gomez turned to the toddler's mother and made threats. The toddler's mother yelled back.

"That seemed to be enough to thwart her attempts," Nelson said. "So she turned around, got back in her car and drove off."

Gomez didn't get far. A patrol officer spotted her car turning into a nearby Shell gas station. The car was stopped just 2.5 miles from Fairmont Park.

MVPD found drug paraphernalia and the white mask victims described.

Gomez was arrested for attempted kidnapping, criminal threats, battery and possession of drug paraphernalia.

On Thursday, neighbors living near Fairmont Park told ABC7 News they couldn't believe what happened.

"My kids grew up during that era when older kids were being abducted. So it was always a concern, but would I expect something like that? Not really," Barbara Prati said.

"I'm very shocked, especially for this road," long-time neighbor Camille Desinger said. "That's probably the first time I've heard of our street having problems whatsoever."

Other neighbors said what happened Wednesday isn't common for the area and admitted their concern was low, prior to the failed abduction.

MVPD Spokesperson Nelson said there are still three serious questions her department is trying to answer: What was Gomez doing in the area? Why was she trying to kidnap the toddler? And is there something much bigger happening in Mountain View that the department should to be aware of?

Gomez is being held at the Elmwood Women's Facility. Her bail is set at $81,000.

Her next court appearance is July 30 at noon.
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