Man faces Farmville charges after ‘misunderstanding’ with child

Published 4:39 pm Thursday, March 23, 2023

FARMVILLE – A 59-year-old Glen Allen resident faces charges after an incident Thursday in Farmville. Just before 12:30 p.m., Farmville Police were called out to a business in the 900 block of South Main Street for a report of an alleged attempted abduction. The suspect had allegedly lifted up a boy, picking him off the ground. The boy got free after allegedly punching the man. 

The suspect then fled the scene, at which point warnings went out to the surrounding counties and jurisdictions, asking for help in tracking down a man in a khaki coat, driving a medical transport van. Farmville Police officials say when they were able to identify and get in touch with the suspect, he returned as requested. 

Within three hours, Fahd Saab, 59, was taken into custody and charged with assault and battery. Police officials say, however, that they determined it wasn’t a case of attempted abduction. 

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“The situation has been thoroughly investigated and at this time, it appears the incident was primarily a cultural misunderstanding,” said Farmville Police Public Information Officer Sam Bowles. 

Saab had explained he didn’t mean anything by his actions, claiming picking up children like that is just part of his culture, according to Bowles. There are multiple cultures in the Middle East and Asia where picking up a stranger’s child is an accepted practice, based on data from the University of Chicago and the National Institutes of Health.

Bowles thanked all of the agencies that helped in locating Saab, as well as the help of the Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office and Hampden-Sydney Police Department.