PHOENIX — A dad is credited with rescuing his daughter Sunday after she was allegedly grabbed by a woman at a south Phoenix park.
Phoenix police report that on Sunday afternoon, 43-year-old Denise Charlene Antone grabbed a 7-year-old girl at a park near 7th Street and Roeser Road and wouldn't let her go.
The victim's older sister managed to get some of the incident on cell phone video.
Antone allegedly refused to let the young girl go until the girl's father intervened. He demanded Antone release his daughter, which she eventually did.
Police say Antone appeared to be under the influence of alcohol at the time.
“There’s kids here all the time, we know everybody around here. We all watch out for each other,” said the victim’s mother, Marilu Dickinson. “I mean it was in the middle of the day, busy road, you know, a lot of traffic down here, and she still did it and excuse was, ‘well she was intoxicated.’ But I’m sorry, it doesn’t matter if somebody’s intoxicated or not, it doesn’t make it right to take to try to take a child.”
Antone was arrested for aggravated assault, but has since been released from jail.
“It’s hard for my daughter. She’s getting better but coming by the park every day because we live right here, it brings flashbacks to her,” Dickinson said. “She had nightmares for the first couple nights…waking up screaming, ‘let me go, get off of me!’”
The family is concerned because Antone is a neighbor, and they fear their daughter was just moments away from more trouble.
“I mean chills go down my back thinking that is my daughter, could she be that close where she could’ve been one of those (trafficking victims)? It very well could’ve been.”