A California grandfather said a woman accused him of kidnapping his own grandson because of their differing skin tones. Torrance police said that on Sunday they responded to a call of a possible abduction involving a Hispanic man and a small child, but it turns out the small child was Abel Mata's grandson.
Mata told ABC 7 that was shocked when police showed up outside his house to ask him about his grandson. Police then informed him they were inquiring about an abducted child.
"And it was a Latino man with a little white baby," Mata said. "It was an older white lady, blond hair, curly hair… She was telling me that I was an abductor. She was yelling that I was trying to abduct the child."
Mata was born in Mexico, but moved to the U.S. when he was 5 years old.
Police realized it was not an abduction rather quickly, but Mata told the news station that the experience was “very painful.”
"I was judged according to the color of my skin and the color of the skin of my grandson," Mata said.
"We've lived in Southern California our whole lives and I've seen my dad experience racism because of the color of his skin and the way he looks, but never to this extent," said Athena, Mata's daughter.
Mata added that he is sharing the story because he hopes it makes people “think twice before they judge others.”