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Alpharetta man pleads not guilty in kidnapping case
Michael Fazio
Michael Fazio

An Alpharetta man charged with the attempted kidnapping of a minor in early 2018 pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning during his arraignment in the Superior Criminal Court of Forsyth County.

Michael Fazio, 26, was arrested on Jan. 7, 2018 after allegedly picking up a young child in a bear hug at a local shopping center and walking towards an exit.

According to Cpl. Doug Rainwater, spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Fazio was identified by social media posts, which showed security camera footage of the incident.

“From that point we did a whole bunch of checking, and our detective worked through the night to find him,” Rainwater said.

Rainwater said that Fazio stated he thought the boy was someone he knew, “but we don’t even halfway believe that. We believe that it was a true stranger-on-stranger kidnapping.”

The child’s father intervened in the incident, and the 3-year-old is safe and unharmed.

On Wednesday, a bond motion for Fazio was denied by Forsyth County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley.

Fazio’s attorney, John Rife, said that they respect Bagley’s decision but are disappointed that Fazio was not granted bond.

Rife said that Fazio will now wait to receive a trial date at the next calendar call hearing.