A combination of mother’s intuition and perfect timing was the key to stopping the near abduction of a 13-year-old Florida girl on Tuesday.
Craig Bonello, 30, allegedly grabbed a young girl inside of a Dollar General Store and ran out with her, according to NBC News.
Surveillance footage captured the moment that the girl’s mother chased after him and pulled her daughter out of his grasp after enduring a “tug of war” with him.
Bonello tried to escape, but as fate would have it, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy named Jonathan Behnen was outside the store at the time and was able to block and arrest Bonello before he had a chance to flee the scene.
"In my 10 years on the road I have never seen anything like this," Sgt. Craig Callahan said in a statement from the sheriff's office. "He truly intended to abduct this child right in front of everyone in the store."
Who knows what Bonello was thinking, but luckily his hasty and impulsive plan did not work as the girl’s mother acted quickly and diligently. In that moment, she was a fearless lioness willing to protect her cub by any means necessary.
No one — including Bonello — was hurt as a result of the chaotic incident. An investigation into why he tried to abduct the teen is reportedly underway.
The assailant faces charges of kidnapping and child abuse, the sheriff’s office said.
While this is Bonello’s first abduction case on record, he has a history of getting into trouble with the law including an arrest for trespassing at a local Walmart back in February.
"Thank goodness the girl's mother jumped into action to prevent this man from kidnapping her daughter," sheriff's office Commander Buddy Grant said in the statement. "And thank goodness Dep. Behnen used his training and experience to stop this man from escaping."
Banner Photo Credit: Video screenshot/Facebook, Citrus County Sheriff's Office