A South Florida deputy is being labeled a hero after he helped prevent an alleged kidnapping inside a Tampa hotel room while on vacation.
NBC affiliate WFLA-TV reports the incident took place this weekend at a Hampton Inn, when the four-year-old was sitting on the bed before the suspect - identified as 31-year-old Desmond Johnson - came inside and attempted to take the child.
“I was in the room, fixing my kid’s plate, and he comes in saying, we’re going to Wal-Mart, we’re going to Wal-Mart,” the mother said in a video given to the station.
After Johnson pulled the child and mother into a hallway outside their room, an off-duty Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputy identified as Corey Reece heard the incident and came out of his room to hold the suspect until Tampa Police officers arrived.
“The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office learned today that one of our deputies, while off duty, was instrumental in saving a young child from being kidnapped. We are very PROUD of his quick actions and attention to what could have been a very volatile situation,” the department said in a statement.
Neither the child nor their mother was injured. Johnson was charged with multiple counts, including burglary and attempted kidnapping.