MONROE, Mich. - An 18-year-old homeless man is under arrest and charged with attempting to kidnap a 7-year-old Monroe boy by pulling him into a wooded area on South Monroe Street near Jones Avenue, the Monroe County Sheriff‘s Department said.
A 14-year-old boy is being hailed as a hero.
Deputies said the 7-year-old had biked to the area with a group of his friends to eat in a fast-food restaurant between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, and that the suspect had joined with the boys and eaten with them. On the way back the suspect and the 7-year-old rode ahead and he allegedly tried to drag the boy into the wooded area lot south of the Kroger shopping plaza on South Monroe Street in Monroe Township.
The boy was saved by one of his friends, a 14-year-old boy, who saw the attempt and pushed the suspect away, deputies said. The suspect claimed to be the 7-year-old’s father, but the group of boys ran away and informed their parents of the incident, the sheriff‘s department said. Authorities did not identify the man but said he had ties to Monroe, Temperance, and the Petersburg areas.
Deputies said the 14-year-old was part of the original group but had gone to a different restaurant. He was returning when, from a distance, he saw the suspect pulling on the boy’s arm trying to jerk him to the woods. “The witness raced to the 7-year-old boy's aid and intervened, pushing the suspect,” said a statement from the sheriff‘s department.
The parents contacted the police at 11 p.m. Saturday. Detectives searched the area without success. They found the suspect sleeping in a tent in the area this morning. He is being held in Monroe County Jail.