Girl Saved From Abduction By Her Mom

Kidnap attempt FL 060716

A 13-year-old girl nearly dragged away in store, and it was all caught on the surveillance camera.

It was a close call for a 13-year-old Florida girl who was shopping with her mom Tuesday.   When emergency dispatchers received the call at 11:42 am, they could hear screaming throughout the store, then learned than someone was attempting to kidnap a child.   Thankfully, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, Jonathan Behnen, just happened to have pulled up in the parking lot of the Dollar General Store where the horror was taking place.

The suspect, Craig Bonello, 30, had entered the store, and was pushing a shopping card, pretending to shop.  He glances around, picks out his victim, then makes his move when the mother’s back is turned, grabbing the 13-year-old girl and literally dragging her toward the door.

The mother instantly ran after them and grabbed her daughter as well, with the suspect and the mother in a tug-of-war over the child.  Bonello finally let go and ran out the door, where deputy Jonathan Behnen was just stepping out of his car.  The store manager yelled at the officer, telling him the man had just tried to kidnap a child.

Behnen pulled his patrol car in front of the suspect’s vehicle to prevent him from leaving the parking lot, and arrested him.

“In my 10 years on the road I have never seen anything like this,” Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Craig Callahan said from the scene. “He truly intended to abduct this child right in front of everyone in the store.”

“It actually was violent enough to tear the girl’s shirt up pretty badly that she was wearing,” Sgt. Callahan added. “We’re very fortunate that the mother had the motherly instinct and did what she did. She may have saved her daughter’s life.”


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