Charges: Stranger snatches baby from changing table at Pike Place

Charges: Stranger snatches baby from changing table at Pike Place

SEATTLE -- A woman with multiple felony convictions has been charged with attempted kidnapping after allegedly snatching an 11-month-old baby from a changing table in a Pike Place Market restroom Feb. 17 and refusing to give it back to its mother.

According to the charging documents filed with King County Superior Court, a mother was changing her baby's diaper when she noticed Chelsey Helms, 37, watching her. After two other women left the restroom, Helms reportedly grabbed the baby off the changing table and refused to give it back to the mother, telling her she was keeping it.

The mother later told officers Helms was holding her son tight to her chest, and she was terrified Helms intended to harm or abduct her son.

According to the charging documents, Helms eventually relinquished the baby after the mother started screaming, which brought two men into the restroom to help.

Farhad Papal runs the shop right next to the public restroom and heard the screams for help.

"The police officer came and pulled the lady to the side for at least thirty minutes to an hour," he said.

Helms reportedly told the men the mother was molesting the baby and saying satanic verses to him, and that's why she was going to take him away (a claim she reiterated to officers when they arrived), according to the charging documents.

Helms was arrested and is being held on $100,000 bail.

She has three prior felony convictions for assault and possession of illegal drugs, as well as a handful of misdemeanor convictions for assault, DUI, domestic violence and more.