Concerned bystanders and parents intervened immediately when 29-year-old Marcus DeWitt reportedly attempted to kidnap two children playing at a park in Lake Elsinore, California.
Police arrested him at the scene.
What are the details?
DeWitt — a registered sex offender — reportedly tried to abduct two different children at the Rosetta Canyon Sports Park on Monday.
Family members witnessed the attempted abductions and stopped DeWitt in his tracks, according to KABC-TV.
First, DeWitt reportedly tried to snatch a 3-year-old boy off of some playground equipment, but was unsuccessful as the child was attached to the playground apparatus. Thwarted, DeWitt then reportedly moved on to a 4-year-old boy and tried to take off with him in his arms.
The unnamed child's parents saw DeWitt manhandling their child and wrestled the child out of his hands. Another family member subdued DeWitt and got him on the ground while other bystanders stepped in to help restrain him.
Fortunately, an off-duty police officer happened to be in the park at the time of the alleged attempted abduction. Authorities arrested DeWitt on the scene without further incident.
Vanessa Mongrut, a woman who witnessed the incident, said that the child is fine. Keli Wilcher, another eyewitness, told the station that incident struck fear in her heart.
"It was very brazen for him to just come up and try and snatch a kid with all the parents around," Wilcher said. "It makes me nervous as a parent."
DeWitt was booked on charges of kidnapping. DeWitt's parents said that their son suffers from schizophrenia and blamed the condition on prior drug use.
“I don't want to make excuses for our son by any means," DeWitt's father told KABC. "I feel for the family, my wife and I honestly will pray for the family and for the children, for their recovery [and] that no memory of this will be in theirs."