A Florida man who followed two girls into a church in an alleged attempt to kidnap them last week was stopped thanks to an observant mother, according to a local report.
David Daniels, 37, of Brandon, began following the two elementary school age girls from Cherry’s Bar and Grill in Fishhawk’s park square, telling them he would supervise their walk home, FOX13 Tampa reported, citing Hillsborough County deputies.
As Daniels followed the girls past a church, the good Samaritan who spotted them said that she felt something was wrong.
"One of the little girls was mouthing to me, ‘Please help me, this is not my dad,’" the woman, who did not wish to be identified, told the station.
The woman said that Daniels put his arm around the neck of one of the girls and began saying something in her ear. He then said that they had just moved here and wanted to help, according to the woman.
Feeling that the man was not telling the truth, the woman said she invited them into the church until she had a chance to call police for help.
"I engaged in conversation with him," she said. "I said, 'Oh that's nice, where did you move here from?' He said, ‘Oh, I am not really sure.’"
When deputies arrived, they located Daniels walking back toward the downtown area and arrested him.
Before reaching the church, deputies said that Daniels had struck one of the girls in the head multiple times and put the other in a headlock. Deputies said the children believed they were being kidnapped.
The anonymous good Samaritan, who is also a mother, said that she doesn’t want any recognition for helping the children.
"I don't want to be a hero," she said. "I just did what I hope anybody would do for my own kids."
Daniels was booked on two counts each of false imprisonment of a child and child abuse at the Hillsborough County Jail, according to online records. He was being held on $104,000 bond.