Private citizens in Sioux Falls are being credited with stopping an attempted kidnapping of a 1-year old child Saturday morning by stopping a police car and telling the officers of their worry.
Sioux Falls Police say a group of people flagged down the officers, who were on regular patrol, and told them a suspicious-looking man was carrying the child.
The officers stopped 36-year-old Michael Neal Jr, who initially told them he was the child’s uncle and was concerned for his own safety because he was being shot at.
Suspicions were raised, though, when he couldn’t give them the names of the child’s parents, and he was arrested for an outstanding warrant.
Soon after, police received a call saying the 1-year-old with Neal had been taken from her home.
Further investigation showed Neal was “loosely acquainted” with the parents and that he’d gone to their apartment while they were at work, forced his way inside, pushed past a caregiver, took the toddler, and left.
Neal is charged with 2nd-degree kidnapping and drug possession. Investigators have not determined a motive for taking the child.