SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — It was 8 p.m. Tuesday night when Marretta Baty and her 14-year-old daughter pulled into the parking lot at Publix on E. Main Street in Spartanburg.
As parents with older children sometimes do, Marretta allowed Jenna to stay in the car with the doors locked since it was going to be one of those quick “in and out” trips to the store.
“I thought I’m goin’ in for five to ten minutes. I’ll be right back out,” Baty told 7 News.
Baty said less than 3 minutes after she entered the store she received an incoming FaceTime call on her phone from Jenna.
“I’m getting a FaceTime call from her telling me that some men are trying to get into our vehicle,” said Baty. “I said ‘Jenna, what are you sayin’?’ She said, ‘Mama, some men are trying to get into our vehicle.”
Baty said she didn’t know what to do.
“Honestly, I was paralyzed,” she explained.
Baty said the doors were locked and the windows were rolled up.
While the men were persistent, she said Jenna kept her mother on FaceTime and that’s when she said the men got aggressive in their attempt to get inside the car.
“They just kept beating on the window telling her to roll down your window or open your door!” Baty said.
Baty and her daughter got a good look at one of the men and when they realized what Jenna was doing with her phone they headed for E. Main Street.
“I truly believe that’s what caused them to run off,” said Baty. “We don’t really know what they were trying to do.”
A report was filed with Spartanburg Police and later Tuesday night Baty took to Facebook to tell her story so that her friends could be on alert.
Her post has since been shared more than 1,000 times.
“I’m so glad people saw the concern there and they shared it and I think it was mostly shared by local people,” she said. “This is something I don’t want anybody else to go through. Our children even though they’re teenagers we need to keep an eye on them as closely as we do our small children.”
The men were described as white with dark, shaggy hair and medium-length beards. One of them was wearing a bright beanie, while the other wore a long-sleeved black shirt and beige overalls.
Major Art Littlejohn with Spartanburg Police said officers are “certainly looking into this incident, however, at this point, no actual crime has occurred.”