GASTONIA, N.C. — Dezaria Harris said she still has nightmares about the man who tried to pull her into a car just a few yards from her front door.
Neighbors cornered the man at a store and wouldn’t let him leave until police arrived, WSOC reported.
Harris, 10, was wearing an apron and was getting ready to help her mother when she was grabbed by a stranger near her home on Ware Avenue in Gastonia Friday night.
“I felt, like, something touch me and I got shivers,” Harris said.
Tim Varner, of Dallas, grabbed her by the apron and tried to pull her into his car.
“He just tried to grab me,” Harris said.
“I snatched her this way and I told her to run like that,” said her sister, Ivalyn Harris.
Shiloh Harris, Dezaria Harris’ mother, said she then screamed at Varner.
“I was horrified, absolutely horrified,” Shiloh Harris said.
Shiloh Harris said Varner drove away, then came back minutes later and made a chilling comment.
“He said, ‘That’s alright. I’ll be back. I’ll get her,’” Shiloh Harris said.
Varner drove back around and an angry neighbor followed.
Dezaria Harris’ aunt was one of the people who cornered Varner nearby at Jakob’s Food Mart.
“I could not chance that he drive by and have a chance to come back by and pick up my baby like he said he was going to,” said aunt Heather Marsengill-Brown.
Marsengill-Brown grabbed Varner by the collar and stood in front of his car.
“He could not move from in front of me, He could not get in his car and he could not drive off unless he ran me over,” Marsengill-Brown said.
Shiloh Harris got to the scene and called 911.
In the 911 call, you can hear the struggle with Varner in the background.
“He is up here right now,” the caller said. “We have got him corned in, and if y’all want to prevent a death, y’all better come get him.”
Varner is in jail, but Dezaria Harris’ family checks every day to make sure he stays there.
“I have nightmares and stuff,” Dezaria Harris said.
“If he gets loose, I would not feel safe,” Shiloh Harris said.
WSOC found Varner’s release agreement that says if he gets out of jail, he will be confined to his home in Dallas and he can’t leave unless it’s to see his attorney or go to court.
He goes back to jail if he violates that order.