Mother says sex offender tried to kidnap her son at Colorado Capitol

DENVER -- An Oklahoma woman says a registered sex offender tried to kidnap her child during a visit to the Colorado State Capitol.

Mercedes Mungia and her family decided to visit the Capitol during their visit to Denver on May 17.

Mungia says she and her three kids were exploring the building and had wandered up to the House chamber when she says she noticed a man saying he had lost his children.

“He came up behind [my daughter], gave her a hug and then picked up my son,” Mungia said. “I was not having that. I mean, any normal person would not pick up a stranger’s kid. He said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I thought these were my kids,’ and I said, 'No, these are my children. Don’t touch them.'"

Turns out, the man is James Salazar, a registered sex offender.

When Mungia called police, she learned he had an outstanding warrant for failing to register as a sex offender. He has a criminal history of sexual assault on children.

“I was shaking so bad,” Mungia said. “He’s definitely a threat to people’s children.”

But even though he was arrested, the Denver District Attorney's Office didn’t take the case. A spokesperson says the office “refused the case because we did not believe we could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”

“Not even attempted kidnapping or anything, any kind of charge. I mean, how are people going to protect their kids?” Mungia said.

Now back in Oklahoma, Mungia is worried about the lasting impact the incident could have on her young children.

“All I kept think about is what could have happened,” Mungia said. “The rest of the trip, my daughter kept saying, 'I’m scared.' That’s not the kind of vacation that I wanted.”

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