Man Prevents Son from Abduction

Shardaa Gray

A father says he prevented another man from snatching his young son while the pair were enjoying North Avenue Beach late Saturday morning.

The man said he was sitting with his 2-year-old son  near the boathouse at about 11 a.m. when another man ran up and tried to grab the boy.  The father said he prevented his son from being snagged and quickly alerted authorities.

"(The father) had to fight to get the child out of his hands," said police Commander Leo Schmitz during a Saturday evening press conference. "I think the father, like most fathers, had as much strength as he needed at the time."

Based on the description given by the father, officers on the beach approached a man and placed him under arrest before he could leave the beach.

The alleged child abductor is a registered sex offender, CBS Chicago reported.

Beachgoers alerted to the incident expressed surprise that something like that could happen.

"There should be some kind of tracking.  If there's a repeat offender, he should have a 24/7 tracking device on them so we know where they're at," said Richard Lyda.

The man, in his 40s, is in police custody but no charges have been filed.  Area 3 detectives are investigating.

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