Good Samaritan Beaten Up After Trying to Help Lost Toddler Find Parents

June 29, 2017
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After a good Samaritan tried to help a lost toddler in a Florida Park, he was mistaken for a kidnapper and beaten by the parents.

The 2-year-old was separated from her parents during a softball game on Saturday at Southwest Sports Complex in Lakeland, and was seen by a man at the park with his friends, according to a police incident report.

Believing that she was lost, the man asked the girl where her parents were and walked around the premises with her in hopes she could point them out.

However, when the child’s father was alerted by bystanders that his daughter was being led away by a stranger, the act was mistaken for a kidnapping attempt.

“I saw this man with my daughter in his hands walking toward the parking lot. What would you do?” the father said. “I wanted to kill him!”

Thinking that they were stopping a crime, the father and two friends approached the stranger: As the friends took the toddler away, the father punched the good Samaritan a few times.

I thought he was trying to take my daughter,” the protective dad said.

In a 911 call released to the media, the Mom also admits to hitting the man who was with her daughter and says that she did not immediately believe that the incident was simply a misunderstanding.

Lakeland Police, on the other hand, said that they were confident that the man was just trying to help the girl.

“An independent witness who didn’t know the family or anybody said they saw him pointing out different males saying ‘is that your father?‘” Lakeland Police Sgt. Gary Gross said.

Police also mentioned that the good Samaritan had no prior criminal history and that they were able to verify that he had been at the park with friends.

“It’s understandable how parents can possibly be upset in a situation involving a lost child. However, this incident truly involved a good Samaritan trying to assist a lost child finding their parents,” the police report read.

Despite the man’s innocence, a number of posts were published on social media defaming his character. Family and friends of the toddler even posted the man’s name, photo, and place of employment online, calling him a “child predator.”

To date, no charges have been filed against the parents.

“This guy is a father, a local businessman, has two children, was trying to help this child but they turned it completely around,” Gross said, “And that’s not right.”

The father apparently still does not believe the man’s innocence.

“No, hell no, I don’t,” he said “Not at all.”

 

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