The 37-year-old caught them as they were leaving a restaurant and told him he would “supervise” them on the way home before hitting one of them and putting the other in a headlock
A quick-thinking mother saved two girls from a kidnapper by inviting him to a church and engaging him in conversation until the police showed up.
The youngsters, both under 12, were with David Matthew Daniels and told the woman: “Please help me this is not my dad.”
The 37-year-old reportedly caught them leaving a restaurant and told him he would “supervise” them on the way home before hitting one of them and putting the other in a headlock.
The girls, who were out on bicycles, cycled to a nearby church, pursued by the creeper.
The heroic woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told Fox 13: “I saw two children on their bikes and an adult male behind them.”
She recalled that one of the girls spoke to her, “Please help me, this is not my father.”
“He kind of talked over her, right behind her, put his arm around her neck and said something in her ear and said, ‘We just moved here, we just want to see how we can help do that, too.’ always you do. ‘” the woman recalled.
The woman decided to stop him by engaging him in conversation, although she was suspicious of him.
She said: “I spoke to him. I said, ‘Oh that’s nice, where did you move here from?’ He said, ‘Oh, I’m not sure.'”
Daniels has since been arrested on two counts of falsely detaining a child and child molestation and is now being held on $104,000 (£85,000) bail.
The children told police he kidnapped them.
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“I don’t want any credit for that,” the woman told the publication. “I don’t want to be a hero. I was only doing what I hope anyone would do for my own children.”
She added: “There are moms out there who are like me. You will recognize the signs and know what to do.
“At that moment I didn’t know if I would have the right answer. But they are fine and they are at home today.”
Jessica Lang, who works in the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, told WFLA, “He didn’t know those kids and those kids definitely didn’t know him.
“Thankfully, these kids stuck together and rode their bikes to a nearby church and asked an adult for help,” she added.