BARBOURSVILLE — All charges against a man accused of attempting to abduct a 5-year-old in the Huntington Mall on Monday night have been dropped, according to a news release from Cabell County Prosecutor Sean “Corky” Hammers.
Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, 54, of Alexandria, Egypt, was arrested by Barboursville Police on Monday night after a woman accused him of pulling her 5-year-old’s hair and dragging the child away until the woman pulled a gun on him.
The woman later recanted her story, saying it the incident likely was a misunderstanding.
“After a complete review of all the evidence collected in this case and after lengthy conversations with detectives and the chief of police of the Barboursville Police Department, I do not believe any provable criminal offense exists against Mr. Zayan,” Hammers said in the release issued Thursday. “The charge of attempted abduction will be dismissed today and no other charges will be filed against him regarding the above reference incident.”
Hammers said Barboursville Police Chief Mike Coffey and detectives agreed with his decision.
As for the woman who made the accusation, Hammers said charges are still being discussed and investigated by his office and BPD.
It is still unclear whether she actually pulled a gun on Zayan. A spokesperson for the Huntington Mall said though it is legal for her to have a concealed weapon in the mall as consistent with state law, her judgement was probably wrong in this incident.
According to the release, as detectives investigated the alleged incident Tuesday, the woman’s story became inconsistent with other evidence and were uncorroborated by employees at the store where the incident took place. The woman was then asked to come to the department and her second statement was inconsistent with her first, and continued to be inconsistent with other evidence collected.
Zayan was released from the Western Regional Jail on Tuesday night on a personal recognizance bond and his passport was also taken from him as the investigation continued. The Associated Press reported he is an engineer in the area for work.
Zayan doesn't speak English, and police said he may have simply been patting the girl on the head.