Mom rescues two 12-yr-old girls from kidnapper after one of them mouths 'help me'
FISHHAWK, TAMPA: Suspect David Daniels attempted to violently abduct two Florida girls after following them as they walked home from Cherry's Bar and Grill in Fishhawk, Tampa. The girls under the age of 12 were saved from the kidnapping when one of them mouthed "help me" to a female churchgoer.
The 37-year-old kidnapper from Brandon reportedly told the girls that he was going to supervise their walk home on Sunday, June 12. He then proceeded to hit the girls over the head and placed one in a headlock. The two girls somehow managed to break free from him and rode their bikes to a nearby church.
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Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested 37-year-old David Daniels of Brandon, on two counts of false imprisonment of a child and child abuse. https://t.co/nhIAH6x6gg— Fox5NY (@fox5ny) June 15, 2022
"He did not know these children, and these children definitely did not know him. At this point, he's following them out of the restaurant and starts to hit one of the children over the head and continues to follow them. Thankfully, these children stuck together and rode their bikes to a nearby church and asked an adult for help," Jessica Lang of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office told WFLA.
"I saw two children on their bicycles and a male adult behind them. One of the little girls was mouthing to me, 'Please help me, this is not my dad.' He was kind of talking over her, right behind her, putting his arm around her neck and saying something in her ear, saying, 'We just moved here, we just want to see how we can help, do whatever you're doing,'" the woman who stepped in, and did not want to be identified, told Fox 13.
"I engaged in conversation with him. I said, 'Oh, that's nice, where did you move here from?' He said, 'Oh, I am not really sure,'" she added. The woman said Daniels claimed he was the father of the girls and had placed his arm around one of their necks. She figured his behavior was fishy and managed to usher the girls into the church while she contacted the authorities.
"They saw that something was wrong and they saved these children."@HCSOSheriff deputies say members of a church in the FishHawk Ranch community helped stop an attempted abduction over the weekend when they called 911, leading to a man's arrest. https://t.co/xmsU171pOa pic.twitter.com/XVAuVy3awV— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) June 14, 2022
Deputies responded and found Daniels a short distance from the church. "Members of this church really stepped up to protect children that were not theirs. They saw that something was wrong and they saved these children," said Lang. "I don't want any recognition for this. I don't want to be a hero. I just did what I hope anybody would do for my own kids," said the woman who rescued the girls.
As per Fox 13, she added, "There are moms out there who are like me. They are going to recognize the signs, and they are going to know what to do. In that moment, I didn't know if I was going to have the right answer. But they are fine, and they are home today." Daniels is in custody at the Hillsborough County Jail and is charged with two counts of false imprisonment of a child and child abuse. His bail has been set at $104,000.