Garner, N.C. — A 14-year-old Raleigh girl who was allegedly kidnapped by an ice cream truck driver on Thursday night said Friday that she got into his truck because she thought she could earn some money to help her financially strapped family.
The girl, who isn't being identified because of the nature of the allegations, said Omar Kareem Sellers, 39, promised her that she could make $150 by riding with him and helping sell ice cream to other children.
Sellers is in the Wake County jail under a $1.01 million bond on charges of first-degree kidnapping, statutory rape, statutory sex offense and indecent liberties with a minor.
The girl said she had seen Sellers earlier in the evening driving through the neighborhood where she was staying with friends at Avery Square Apartments.
Even though she said her mother had lectured her about going with strangers, she said she was just thinking about earning some money for her mother and five brothers and sisters.
"At the time, she wasn't thinking clear. She was thinking about how she could get cash and help out," the girl's mother said. "So, her heart was in the right place. It was just a bad situation."
The teen said, at first, that she and Sellers rode around selling ice cream and when she became concerned about where they were going, they stopped at a McDonald's in Clayton.
Afterward, he parked behind a car wash and forced himself on her, the girl said.
At first, she elbowed the man, she said, but didn't resist any further, because she feared he wouldn't let her go.
"I kept trying to tell him that he should just drop me off, that my mom would be looking for me, and that he should just let me go," the girl said. "I was just looking for a chance to get away. I was afraid I would never be coming home."
The girl's family contacted police when she didn't return home. Following an Amber Alert issued shortly after 10 p.m., a Raleigh police officer stopped Sellers and help reunite the girl with her family.
"It could have been anybody's child, you know," the mother said. "So, I'm just glad he's off the street. I just hope he stays off the street "
The mother said she hopes Sellers hasn't used the lure of the ice cream truck and easy money to tempt other young girls.
"(I want to) tell the teenagers, just be extra careful," the mother said. "Nothing is worth your life."
Garner police said Friday that they haven't received any other similar reports regarding Sellers.
They added that he is not licensed to sell ice cream from a truck.
"I hope that he gets everything that he deserves, the mother said. "You don't touch anyone without their permission, especially a child. You don't take a child anywhere without their parents' permission, so I thank God that he's locked up right now."