Man threatens little girl with knife in Echo Park, police say

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A man was arrested after he allegedly held a knife to an 8-year-old girl at a Walgreen's in Echo Park.

Eight-year-old Natanyah Garcia and her mother were stepping out of a Walgreen's in Echo Park when a stranger grabbed the little girl from behind.

The man - who police later said was likely on drugs - held a large knife up to her body. Police later described the weapon as a 7-8 inch kitchen knife.

Natanyah recalls thinking in that moment her life was going to end right there. She thought she wouldn't even have a chance to say goodbye to her friends.

"I didn't want to see if I'll go to heaven or hell. I don't want to go yet. I want to go and enjoy my life. I haven't been anything yet," she said.

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An 8-year-old girl recalls the terrifying ordeal when a man threatened her with a knife outside a store in Echo Park.

Garcia and her mother recalled the terrifying ordeal soon after the man was arrested for threatening the girl.

She said the suspect, dressed all in black, held the knife up to her chest, and she was frightened he was going to cut her throat.

But she tried to stay calm so as to not agitate him.

"I was staying calm, because I thought if I was acting crazy, he would act crazy and just do weird things," she said.

The incident happened at a Walgreen's in the 1600 block of West Sunset Boulevard just before 7 p.m. Friday.

Her mother, Elizabeth Garcia, said they had gone to the store to get medicine for her daughter's cough.

She saw the man as they exited the store, but he did not seem like a threat.

"He was standing with a bag, but then he just grabbed my daughter with a knife," she said. "I was crying and asking for help."

Bystanders tried to help. Soon the suspect ran away, but officers caught up with him nearby and took him into custody.

Police said Natanyah identified the man and he was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon on a child and possession of methamphetamine. They will be evaluating his mental state as well.
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threatarrestchild endangermentlapdEcho ParkLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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