By: Jasmine Allen/Liftable It was supposed to be a fun trip to Disney World for a family of three visiting out of town, but it soon turned into a trip of terror. If it wasn’t for one attentive police officer, one little boy’s life may have changed forever.
On Monday night, a father and his two sons were involved in a squabble at McDonald’s in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. While one of the sons, a 12-year-old boy, was inside using the restroom, the dad and brother waited outside in their vehicle.
Apparently, one of the customers had his eyes on the child the entire time. The strange man followed the young boy to his car, and that’s when the altercation ensued.
The terrified kid quickly opened the car door and jumped in the backseat to get away from the guy. Suddenly, the crazed man was tugging at the boy and trying to snatch him out of the vehicle.
Off-duty Daytona Beach cop, Troy Belden, was waiting in the drive-thru line when he witnessed the attempted kidnap. He knew something terrible was happening when the dad jumped in to fight the man off his son.
“It’s like he did a Superman dive into the passenger seat, trying to get to the children,” Belden said about the perpetrator, later identified as 54-year-old Robert Sawyer. “Once they started screaming, I jumped in.”
Belden left his car and ran over to the fight. He identified himself as a police officer, but that’s when Sawyer tried to leave the scene.
“I grabbed him by the shirt and he tried to run away from me at that time, so I brought him to the ground,” Belden recalled. The boy’s father also helped by running to grab the officer’s handcuffs, and soon Sawyer was apprehended.
Belden couldn’t understand why the man was behaving in such a “bizarre” manner, though he had a narcotics pipe in his possession at the time of the attack. Additionally, investigators later determined that a woman was waiting for Sawyer in his vehicle, but quickly drove away.
Cops plan to seek more information from the lady, but they have already charged Sawyer with “kidnapping/confinement of a child, possession of narcotics paraphernalia, and burglary.” Unfortunately, he was released from jail on a $55,500 bail and is back at home.
One Facebook user was disappointed at the fact that Sawyer is back on the streets again. This was his comment on WOFL-TV’s post of the story: “Why bond so he can do this to some other [children] I still don’t understand the court’s I am sure the police don’t either.”
Well, we can only hope that the local police department will continue to keep a watchful eye on this guy. Belden has definitely done his part saving a child from abduction and bringing forth yet another alleged kidnapper. It’s a good thing he “was at the right place at the right time.”