The man accused of kidnapping a young girl in Norton, Massachusetts, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.
Avery Howard, 32, of Brockton, was charged with kidnapping after a missing 6-year-old girl was found with him.
Howard had also been charged with assault and battery, according to police, but Howard's attorney said that was a mistake by police.
Howard's attorney said he has special needs and was trying to help the girl get to her grandmother's house, where she wanted to go.
"He's very upset because he was trying to help," said defense attorney Scott Bradley.
When the girl's grandmother wasn't home, Howard kept driving. He then took the child to get food and to his home healthcare aide appointment.
"If he had just driven by that girl, who knows what could have happened," said Bradley.
Howard was held on $2,000 bail, which his family plans on posting, and he was ordered to have no contact with the girl.
Police believe the girl left home after her family disciplined her around 12:15 p.m. on Friday. She was first seen on her own with a small pink suitcase. Later, she was spotted in the area of Shaw’s Supermarket on Depot Street in Easton.
Thanks to tips from the public, police say they found her unharmed in the backseat of Howard’s car.
"His story doesn’t make much sense from this standpoint," said Asst. District Attorney Keith Paquette.
The girl's family has had no comment so far, only saying that they are thankful she is safe.