An Arizona father woke up in the middle of the night as his two-year-old daughter was crying and found her sitting on the lap of a stranger in their living room. The stranger, later identified as 34-year-old Oren Cohen, was reported to have told the girl: "I'm your friend" before tossing her onto the couch at the apartment in Tempe around 2:30am on 15 December.

Her father tussled with the suspect for around 10 minutes in order to ensure he could not flee the crime scene while his wife phoned the police.

Cohen was arrested on suspicion of second-degree burglary, aggravated assault and kidnapping. He denied that he was attempting to burgle the house or harm the girl.

During an appearance at Maricopa County Superior Court, he claimed he accidentally went into the family's apartment while "black-out" drunk and believed he was playing with a midget as it was too dark to see anything.

He said: "I went to visit a friend...we were drinking a lot over there in her house. I went outside for a cigarette, I guess I got blacked out [so] I went into the wrong door and that's why you guys have charged me with burglary.

"After was dark and I didn't realise what was happening and that's when I saw this midget."

Police later found his passport on the floor of the toddler's bedroom, he had also used the toilet, drunk some orange juice from the family's refrigerator, reported the Washington Post.

Cohen denied that he had intended to abuse the two-year-old girl. He told the court: "I would never do anything like that. My dad is a sex offender. I would never do anything even close to that."

The police report of the incident added: "Oren advised with 100% certainty that he did not perform or engage in any sexual acts with the victim of this incident.

"Once it was relayed to Oren that the victim in his incident was a two-year-old female, he became very upset and broke down crying. Oren said he would never hurt a child and does not remember the details of this incident because he was 'black-out drunk.'"

Police confirmed the child was still fully clothed when she was found with Cohen. He has been remanded in custody at Maricopa County jail and held on a $250,000 (£200,000) cash bond. He is due to appear next at the same court on 27 December.

Oren Cohen
Oren Cohen denies the charges of second-degree burglary, aggravated assault and kidnapping Maricopa County Superior Court