Grandmother gives chase, citizens hold suspect in kidnapping attempt

Police say man tried to kidnap two 9-year-old boys

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thanks to the quick action of the grandmother of two 9-year-old boys and some concerned citizens, a man who tried to abduct the children from a Riverside yard Monday night is in police custody, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

Police said the woman looked out the window of her Spruce Street home about 8 p.m. and saw the boys using a shovel and chain to fight off an unknown man in the front yard.

“My grandson said he tried to put him in the car, so he grabbed a shovel," Shirley Jones said.

The man got in a car and sped away with Jones in pursuit in her pickup truck. She asked a homeless man to get in and help.

The suspect struck a couple vehicles while driving about 1 mile before pulling into a Shell gas station at the corner of Margaret and Post streets and going inside.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Police Information Officer Melissa Bujeda said citizens kept the man from leaving the store until police arrived, and the man was taken into custody without incident.

"We're thankful there's not kids missing," Bujeda said. "Thanks to good citizens of Jacksonville, our children are safe tonight."

Police were not sure if the man had any sort of weapon, but the case was still under investigation. Asked if the man was intoxicated, Bujeda said the man's "faculties weren't right."

Jones said the man, who she'd never seen before, appeared drunk.

"I don't think he even realized he did what he did," she said.

Jones said she's blessed that her grandsons are safe.

"I'm just thanking God my grandbabies are home," Jones said. “Thanks (to) everyone that had a part in helping me."

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