A 50-year-old man is now in police custody after he reportedly tried to abduct two girls from Hallglen Park in Falkirk, luring them into a wooded area. The Daily Mail reports that Viper MacDonald and his 16-year-old son, Brandon, became suspicious after noticing John Bermingham “loitering around two children.”
The girls were playing at Hallglen Park, near Glenburn Road, on Friday, May 19 at around 4:50 p.m. when Bermingham supposedly approached them on his bicycle, asking them to help him look for his jacket in a nearby wooded area. When MacDonald and his son saw the children walking with the man, they immediately took action.
The Good Samaritans stopped Bermingham from abducting the two girls from Hallglen Park by detaining him until police officials arrived at the scene. Deputies with the Falkirk Police Station wrestled the suspect to the ground and arrested Bermingham on “two counts of attempted abduction and one of assault to injury.”
MacDonald, the owner of Vipers Vehicle Care, and his son were commended via social media for their courageous efforts in stopping the attempted Hallglen Park abduction. Some called the father and son heroes while others simply said “well done.”
When the mother of one of the girls learned that a man tried to kidnap her daughter and her friend as they played at Hallglen Park, she posted a photo of the suspected perpetrator and wrote, “This absolute beastie scum tried to get my daughter and her friend to go into the woods with him in broad daylight.”
“They were playing at the park when he approached them on his bike, asking if they would help him find his jacket. He’s given the name John Crawford to police.”
The post has since been deleted, but it was apparently shared thousands of times.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) May 22, 2017
In lieu of acknowledging her daughter’s supposed abductor, the other mom decided to thank the Good Samaritans for saving the two girls from being kidnapped.
In a Facebook post, she wrote, “Rather than sharing the picture of the b****** that has been charged with attempted abduction of our daughters, share the hero’s photo.”
“This is Viper,” the Facebook post continued. “Viper and his son saw our daughters being taken away by a man and questioned what was going on and told our girls to run to the safety of his wife. They then held the man until the police came. We will never be able to express our thanks to him and his family enough.”
“This is the people you should be talking about—people who put the safety of their community first and aren’t afraid to question a situation that looks wrong. We’re just so thankful that they were there.”
The woman’s Facebook post garnered more than nine-thousand shares.
Bermingham appeared at the Falkirk Sheriff Court on Monday, where a judge added two “charges of breaching a sexual offenses prevention order and an interim sexual offenses prevention order.” He was ordered to remain in police custody until his next court date, which is scheduled for next week.
Tattooed hero saves two little girls after man, 50, ‘tries to lure them away from a park' https://t.co/lY4sqHWzw9
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) May 22, 2017
Falkirk police officials thanked the public for their support and helping prevent two girls from being abducted at Hallglen Park.
“We appreciate that this was a very concerning incident for the local community and we are treating this with the utmost seriousness,” said Inspector Jo Jollie. “I’d urge anyone who was in the area around this time that hasn’t spoken to officers and may be able to help with the investigation to contact us.”
“There will continue to be a police presence in the area as we conduct our [investigations] and anyone with concerns is encouraged to speak to officers.”
An investigation is ongoing.
[Featured Image by Yuri_Arcurs/iStock]