HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man was arrested after kidnapping a mother and her three daughters at gunpoint outside a day care center in December.
Ruben Wheeler, 29, is charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping after being arrested on Friday, four months after the incident.
ABC13 spoke to the 33-year-old mother, who has asked to remain anonymous, about the terrifying ordeal that happened four days before Christmas.
"I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it was happening to me. I just couldn't," she said.
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The mother said it started as a typical day as she was dropping her daughters, ages 12, 6, and 4, off at their day care in west Houston when a man "came out of nowhere" and demanded cash. Her 6-year-old was already out of the car.
"He had a gun and asked me, 'Where is the money?' and I told him, 'I didn't have any money,' so I just threw him my purse, thinking that would make him go away, but it didn't."
Instead, she said he forced them into the car at gunpoint and told her to drive. She complied. She drove him to an apartment nearby, where he demanded her purse, AirPods, cell phone, and bank cards and got out.
Moments after, she drove to the police station.
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"It could have been worse. I thank God we are still alive," she said.
According to court records, Houston police were able to identify Wheeler as the suspect with the help of surveillance video.
By Friday afternoon, Wheeler appeared in court, where a hearing officer set his bond at $200,000.
The prosecutor told the court Wheeler was still on supervision out of Louisiana for a gun conviction.
"Everything we do, there's a consequence behind it," the mother told ABC13. "I pray for him, and I pray to God that he changes because I know people can change."
Wheeler is expected back in court on Monday, April 24.
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