A four-year-old girl dining with her mother at the restaurant was saved from a violent attack after an unknown man attempted to grab her.
The girl, her mother and another woman were dining at a restaurant in Florida, a town west of Johannesburg, South Africa when a man leapt over the patio’s barricade and attacked the child. The subsequent heroics of onlookers helped save the girl from harm.
Released surveillance video from the restaurant’s cameras show the chaos that ensued when the stranger grabbed the sitting girl by the neck. The girl’s mother and fellow diners sprung to their feet to wrestle the man off of the child.
As soon as the man tried to grab the girl, one of the women with the girl lunges across the table to try and free her. A man sitting at the next table immediately runs over to help and gets the suspect in a chokehold, wrestling the suspect to the ground.
Thankfully, the heroic Good Samaritan were successful in pinning and holding the suspect until police arrived. According to social media posts of the incident, the Good Samaritan is a Safeguard Security Manager who happened to be there for a meeting.
Although initially reported as an attempted kidnapping, the incident was allegedly drug fueled.
A witness who was eating at the diner said that the suspect was acting erratically immediately proceeding the moment caught on video, the Roodenpoort Record reported.
“He was walking along the street banging on cars. Then he just started running up to the girl. It didn’t look like he was trying to take her, he was really trying to hurt her. His eyes were dead,” said the witness.
“The mother and the child screamed and with the help of the shop owner and the community, the suspect was apprehended,” Florida police spokesperson Sergeant Mpho More said afterwards.
Gauteng Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Kay Makhubele told the media that the 24-year-old suspect has been charged with assault and is due to appear in court. He added that further investigation will determine if what happened is “related to a kidnapping.”