CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Overnight, Channel 9 learned the man accused of attempting to kidnap two little girls in east Charlotte is out of jail.
63-year-old Jose Rodriguez was in court Monday afternoon on charges of two counts of attempted kidnapping.
The incident happened just after 7:40 p.m. Friday on Amity Pointe Road.
Police said when they arrived on scene, witnesses said a group of children were playing in the parking lot of the apartment complex.
Witnesses said a man approached the group and grabbed an 8 and 10 year old girl by their wrists. They said as witnesses moved toward the man, he released the two girls and ran from the scene.
"A little creepy? Oh yeah, a lot creepy. He'd just sit there and like watch the children," said neighbor Natoya Harris.
Harris said she's seen Rodriguez sitting outside his apartment, but never imagined that he'd be dangerous.
"I tell my kids if anything strange is going on, just let me know and I'll go ahead and handle it from there," said Harris.
The children were not injured during the incident.
Officers said they later located the suspect and interviewed him.
Rodriguez was charged with two counts of attempting kidnapping.
The girls' aunt Wanda Barnes the children are always out playing in the parking lot of their apartment complex.
"They're always out here playing," Barnes said. "There's never been anything like this that's happen in the neighborhood before."
Barnes said her niece knew exactly what to do in the situation.
"My niece knows stranger danger," Barnes said. "She's the one that called the cops herself."
None of the children were hurt in this case, but the neighbors say it is a tough lesson in keeping kids safe.
"Just teach your kids to just not go with anybody," Barnes said.
Neighbors told Channel 9 that kids often play outside in the neighborhood without adult supervision, but they plan to change that after this incident.
"We have to stand up for the children. If we don't, who will?" neighbor Robin Lockhart-Jackson said, "It's observant and I'm watching to make sure children are safe."
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Cox Media Group