Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Father Chases Down His Daughter’s Would-be Abductor

James Gates

James Gates

Zion, Ill., school bus driver Kelly Davis, 31, was enjoying an evening in Chicago’s Daley Plaza with his girlfriend, Amanda Green, their newborn, and two daughters on August 28, 2012, when he noticed a man running towards his flaxen-curled daughter Myla Davis-Green, 2. The stranger yelled, “This is my daughter, Goldilocks!” The stranger grabbed her arm and tried to run away with the toddler. “I have no doubt that if I had my back turned, he would have grabbed her and she would have been gone in the city and I would have never seen her again,” Davis told reporters. The father stood between his child’s would-be abductor and his family, fought the man off, and got hit in the face in the process, all the while the stranger insisting that “Goldilocks” was his child. The assailant, who turned out to be James Gates, 55, soon fled on foot.

Once he was sure the children were safe, Davis left them with Green, who told reporters, “Everybody’s just standing there. Nobody did anything. Everybody just stood there staring at us the whole time.” Davis ran after Gates and chased him for a half hour until he was able to flag down police for help. ‘If he would’ve ran to the end of the city, I would’ve chased him to the end of the city,’ Davis later told CBS.

Police arrested Gates and charged him with attempted kidnapping and battery. Gates, who has a prior arrest record for drugs and robbery, was held on $150,000 bail.

Unfortunately the child is still reportedly traumatized and has trouble sleeping, “If a man comes too close, Green reportedly said, “she keeps saying, ‘Bad man, bad man,’ You can tell it’s greatly affected her.”

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