Police identify man accused of attempting to kidnap Marietta mother

Marietta mom fights off attempted kidnapping at Kroger
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 11:32 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2022 at 2:59 PM EST
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MARIETTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The man accused of attempting to kidnap a woman at a Marietta grocery store has been identified.

Marrietta Police Department has released the photo of Randy Harmon as the alleged attempted kidnapper.

Marietta attempted kidnapper
Marietta attempted kidnapper(Marietta police department)

Last Tuesday morning, a Marietta woman fought off an alleged armed kidnapper in the parking lot of a Kroger grocery store.

According to Marietta Police, Tomeka Harris, 48, had just put bags of groceries in her car when a stranger approached her at the Kroger along Powers Ferry Road.

“As she’s opening her driver door, she feels something on her side, and he is now holding a gun at her side and forcing her into her own vehicle,” said Officer Chuck McPhilamy, spokesperson for the Marietta Police Department.

An Atlanta News First crew spoke with Harris outside her apartment on Wednesday.

“I screamed, and that’s when the gun went from my side to my face. He closed the door and I realized this was serious. I’m a woman of faith, I prayed, and chose to fight,” said Harris.

Harris said the man started driving away while the two were battling in the front seat.

She was able to unlock the passenger door as she pushed away his gun.

“As he tried to drive off with me, I was able to fly out of the car. Pretty banged up, scratched up, but I’m alive,” said Harris.

Officer McPhilamy said Cobb County Police officers, by using advanced license plate technology, were able to locate Harris’ car within an hour of it being reported stolen just a few miles of the Kroger.

Later Tuesday evening, CCPD officers found a different stolen car and arrested the driver, identified as Randy Jenkins Harmon.

Harmon was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and other traffic related charges, according to Marietta Police.

MPD investigators, with the use of video surveillance and license plate technology, were able to verify the stolen vehicle Harmon was driving, was in fact the same vehicle he used to drive into the grocery store parking lot that morning.

McPhilamy said this was just the second attempted kidnapping in public, stranger-to-stranger, in Marietta in the last eight years he’s been with the Marietta Police Department.

“This is a rare occurrence, this doesn’t normally happen here,” McPhilamy said.

According to jail records, as of Wednesday evening, Harmon is being held on charges of felony kidnapping and felony hijacking a vehicle robbery, among other charges.

Marietta’s Chief of Police issues a statement on Wednesday.

Chief Ferrell noted: “The Marietta Police Department would like to publicly commend Tomeka Harris for her determination, courage, and resilience in the face of danger. Law Enforcement agencies preach RUN HIDE FIGHT and/or AVOID DENY DEFEND regularly, and Ms. Harris absolutely used those same principles while being attacked by a man with a gun. We are grateful that she is safe, and that her property was all recovered. A crime like this does not typically occur in Cobb, and the interagency collaboration as well as investment the city and surrounding jurisdictions have made in LPR cameras definitely aided in our ability to hold this criminal accountable!”