Girl's secret message to stranger that saved her from alleged abduction attempt

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A stranger has rescued two young girls from a possible abduction after one of the victims mouthed a secret message for help.

A man, David Daniels, 37, allegedly followed the 12-year-old school girls as they walked home from Cherry’s Bar and Grill in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday, before the unidentified woman stepped in to help, police said.

Daniels, who has since been charged, allegedly hit the girls over the head and placed one in a headlock, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

But the young girls were able to break free and ride their bikes to a nearby church where the woman spotted them in distress.

Alleged kidnapper David Daniels from California
David Daniels, 37, was charged after attempting to abduct two school girls who managed to break away. Source: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

"I saw two children on their bicycles and a male adult behind them," she told Fox 13 News, but asked to remain anonymous.

"One of the little girls was mouthing to me, ‘Please help me, this is not my dad'."

Jessica Lang from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the man "did not know these children and these children definitely did not know him", according to WFLA News.

Daniels allegedly followed the girls inside the church after the woman who saved them engaged in conversation and invited them all in, just so she could call the authorities.

At this point, she claims Daniels was talking over the girls and claiming he was their dad. He also placed his arm around one of their necks.

two girls riding bicycles on path surrounded by trees
The man allegedly followed the two girls who were on bikes and pretended to be their father. Source: Getty/File

Daniels was arrested a short time later and charged with two counts of false imprisonment of a child and child abuse, according to local reports.

"Members of this church really stepped up to protect children that were not theirs," Ms Lang said. "They saw that something was wrong and they saved these children."

The woman who stepped in said she doesn't want recognition.

"I don’t want to be a hero. I just did what I hope anybody would do for my own kids," she said.

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