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"Zombie"-like mugshot stirs up anger, empathy for Colorado woman attacked by alleged child kidnapper

Suspect wanted for attempted kidnapping has violent crime history
Suspect wanted for attempted kidnapping has violent crime history 03:14

Yvette Edmunds has every reason to be angry, even afraid. The man who once attacked her is the face so many now can't get out of their minds.

"They just keep throwing him out there until when? Until he kills somebody?" she questioned with tears in her eyes. "This is an ongoing thing with this man."

Yet mixed with her anger, is a heart full of empathy.

"I don't want to call him a monster because I don't think he is," Edmunds told CBS News Colorado's Kelly Werthmann. "I forgave him a long time ago, Solomon. I just think that the system has failed him."

Yvette Edmunds CBS

Edmunds first saw Solomon Galligan in 2021 while walking near the Denver County Courthouse. Out of nowhere, she said, he knocked her to the ground. 

"It was one punch," she said.

One punch, seven stitches and three years of court battles. Edmunds said the judge dismissed the felony assault case due to a lack of resources.

"That's what she said. 'We don't have the resources in the jail cells to give [Galligan] his medicine, to give him what he needs and the beds are full,'" Edmunds said. "I didn't understand why they let him go knowing that, every time they let him go, he does something. Every time."

According to court documents, Galligan has a lengthy history of assault charges, as well as a misdemeanor sex assault conviction. His latest run-in with the law was in Aurora, where he allegedly tried to kidnap a child.

"I'm a teacher, so to see this poor child have trauma now the way I do," Edmunds said tearfully, "it makes me mad."

And, when Edmunds saw Galligan's latest mug shot, her heart couldn't help but break.

"I mean, my God. It's everywhere. People calling him a zombie," she said. "I've seen him. I've seen Solomon medicated and he's beautiful. I know he's been in and out of the foster homes. He's mentally ill, I get it. So, why are we not then helping him?"

Solomon Galligan was arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping after allegedly grabbing a boy at Black Forest Hills Elementary School in Aurora on Friday, April 19, 2024. Courtesy / Aurora Police Department

As a special education teacher in the Cherry Creek Schools District, Edmunds said she knows people like Galligan need greater support, patience, and care. All things he has likely never had, and she fears never will.

 "Maybe that's why I stay in special education because I don't want these kids to end up like Solomon," she said as she broke down in tears.

"What do you want to see happen?" Werthmann asked.

"I want him to get the help he needs. I would like him off the streets, most definitely. I want the system to work. This needs to stop," Edmunds replied.

Galligan is currently being held at the Arapahoe County Jail on a $25,000 bond. He's due back in court on April 25 where he's expected to be formally charged with second-degree attempted kidnapping. In court, Galligan was said to identify as she/her.

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