Police hunt for man accused of holding knife to throat of 7-year-old girl in Pittsfield Township

Melvin Francis Sroufe accused of threatening to kill girl

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A manhunt is underway after police said a man held a knife to a 7-year-old girl's throat and threatened to kill her during an attempted robbery in a Pittsfield Township Meijer parking lot.

UPDATEMan in custody after allegedly holding knife to throat of 7-year-old girl in Pittsfield Township

A 35-year-old woman and her daughter were coming out of the store at 1:45 p.m. Sunday when the attack happened, police said.

Melvin Francis Sroufe, 57, of Washtenaw County, is the suspect, according to authorities. His last known address is in Ypsilanti Township. He's violated his parole, which means he's a convicted felon who served prison time, officials said.

Melvin Francis Sroufe (WDIV)

Sroufe is wanted on suspicion of assault with intent to murder, armed robbery and attempted abduction at the Meijer on Carpenter Road.

Police said he approached the woman and her daughter as they were packing groceries into their car.

Sroufe grabbed the little girl and held a large knife to her throat, officials said. He demanded the mother get into her vehicle, threatening to kill the child, according to authorities.

This caught the attention of others in the area, and witnesses began hollering at Sroufe, police said.

The mother and daughter were able to get safely away, but Sroufe grabbed the woman's purse from her shopping cart before fleeing on foot, according to officials.

A Pittsfield Township K-9 unit tracked Sroufe's path near Carpenter Road and found some contents from the woman's wallet, officials said.

Sroufe has a long history of breaking and entering, forgery and home invasion incidents, according to records. He also has a conviction for resisting arrest, so residents who see Sroufe should not intervene but call 911, police said.

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