Off-duty officer thwarts attempted kidnapping

An off-duty cop allegedly stopped a man trying to abduct a child on a Florida beach last week.

According to WESH, Daytona Beach police officer Troy Belden was in a McDonald’s drive-thru line last Friday night when he saw Robert Sawyer, 54, trying to pull a kid from a car parked outside the New Smyrna Beach restaurant.

Though Darrell M. Brill, the boy’s father, got out of the car and put Sawyer in a chokehold, Belden came and tackled the suspect and restrained him until backup arrived, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

“It’s like he did a Superman dive into the passenger seat, trying to get to the children. Once they started screaming, I jumped in,” the officer told WOFL.

Belden said that Sawyer tried to run after he identified himself as a police officer. The officer also claimed the Sawyer was holding a pipe commonly used to smoke narcotics. Belden described the man’s behavior as “really bizarre.”

New Smyrna Beach officials alleged that the 54-year-old’s car was at the restaurant and a woman—who fled the scene—was in the vehicle with him. Authorities said they intend to speak with the unidentified woman.

Though Belden said the boys, specifically the victim, were “really shaken up,” authorities said the kids were unharmed.

“I was glad, I was really glad. It was the right place at the right time.”

Sawyer is charged with kidnapping or confinement of a child younger than 13, possession of narcotics paraphernalia, and burglary. The New Smyrna Beach man posted $55,500 bail on Sunday.

[Featured Image: Volusia County Sheriff’s Office]