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Millionaire accused of trying to ‘buy’ child says it was a big misunderstanding

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COVINA, Calif. (KTLA) — Last week, a scared California mother told police two men offered to buy her baby for $100.

Police publicly released surveillance video of the pair, only to find out it was a huge misunderstanding and the millionaire and his pastor friend were actually trying to help.

The men were originally identified as attempted child traffickers.

“One of our employees up here called us and said, ‘Hey, you guys are all over the news,’” said Rolando Garcia, the owner of a trucking company in Irwindale and a philanthropist.

Garcia said he was in the checkout line at Baja Ranch Market in Covina last Wednesday with his pastor friend when he offered a young mother some money.

“Got my heart, you know, to see this lady all by herself you know,” he said.

He told KTLA that he tried to hand the woman cash, saying “I’m so blessed to give you this. For you, for your kid. So what she said was no, no, no.”

But the young woman took it the wrong way. She became frightened when Garcia and his friend approached her a second time in the parking lot.

“I just pulled out the hundred dollars, without thinking out of my pocket, and said, Here you go,” Garcia recalled. “She said no, no, I said yes, it’s yours, I give it to you for your child. Her face was kind of shocked, and I said look, I’ve been blessed by god.”

Shaken and confused, the woman took off and called police.

“She was fearful when she came in, she was somewhat intimidated at the scene. You know, when you put two and two together, for a lot of us, it was concern,” St. Gregg Peterson, with the Covina Police Department, said.

After seeing himself on the news, Garcia called police and explained. Detectives checked out his story and background and after talking to the mother again, determined everything made sense. This was a true misunderstanding.