A 12-year-old Florida boy escaped an alleged kidnapping attempt by jumping out of a moving vehicle, NBC News reports. Fortunately, the lad emerged from the situation with only minor cuts and scrapes.
The tween, whose name has not been released, says that he’d just gotten out of school in Boynton Beach on Wednesday and was walking home when a man in a white pickup truck pulled over and offered him a ride. The boy said that the man “seemed nice and had a friendly smile,” and that the man told him that he “gives kids rides all the time and not to worry because he won’t do anything weird,” according to a criminal complaint.
However, shortly after getting in the truck, the boy said that the driver began asking the lad if he had any drugs, and then began looking at him “strangely.” The boy tried to get out of the truck, but the man allegedly told him that he couldn’t leave, and allegedly sped up. The boy then jumped out of the truck as it was still moving.
A witness, later identified as delivery driver Angel Perez, saw the vehicle being driven recklessly, and then watched the boy jump out. He called 911 as he attempted to chase down the driver of the truck.
“He was driving reckless and the little kid fell out of the truck,” he told a 911 dispatcher.
As witnesses converged on the boy, Perez and other drivers chased the truck, eventually boxing him in. In the 911 call, Perez could be heard shouting with the driver and telling him to get down. Perez detained the driver until police arrived.
The driver was later identified as 26-year-old Timothy H. Miller.
Police arrived, and Miller allegedly told them that he thought the boy was 14-16 years old and that he wanted to buy drugs from him, according to West Palm Beach’s WPEC-TV. He also “violently” resisted arrest, according to police.
Miller has since been arrested and charged with kidnapping, resisting arrest with violence and child neglect.
The boy said that he was knocked unconscious when he hit his head on the ground. He was treated for minor scrapes to his hands and forehead.
In a Facebook post, the Boynton Beach Police Department thanked the Good Samaritans who came to the boy’s aid.
“We encourage parents to use this as an opportunity to remind their children about the dangers of getting into a car with someone they do not know,” said the police.