UPDATE: Tullahoma police have now charged the 14-year-old with filing a false report in this weekend’s attempted abduction case.
TULLAHOMA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tullahoma police now say the report of an attempted abduction this weekend was false.
It was a scary afternoon Saturday for a Tullahoma mother said her 3-year-old daughter was almost abducted from a local playground.
The family of the girl initially told News 2 it was the quick thinking of the little girl’s teenage cousin that stopped the abduction.
Witnesses told police the man got out of a white van and walked over to a tree near the playground, which they thought was odd.
“She was swinging on the first swing over here,” mother Desiree Conant said.
Desiree told News 2 she decided to go get food for the family and left her sister to watch the kids at the park.
But when her sister’s nine-year-old child with autism wandered off, she turned for a split second and that’s when Isobel was nearly abducted.
“I had just picked up the food and got a phone call that someone tried to kidnap my child,” Desiree said.
Her 14-year-old nephew told News 2 he first noticed the man dressed in a black hoodie, a hat and sunglasses, so he kept an eye on him.
“He got out and sat behind the tree and I started watching him,” he said.
Moments later, he said the man snatched Isobel off the swing.
The nephew ran down the slide and went after the suspect.
“I tackled him and then he kicked me in the chest and he got up and ran, and then I tackled him again, and we just fought for a little while,” he said. “He kept kicking me and hitting me and after a while, I pulled a little pocket knife out and he ran away.”
It also scared the little girl’s mother.
“It’s terrifying because she’s my baby, she’s my world,” she said.
She said she’s thankful her nephew fought off the alleged kidnapper.
“My nephew is a hero, he saved my daughter,” Covant said.
The teen was allegedly able to pull off one of the suspect’s gloves. It was turned over to police as evidence.
Desiree told news 2 she is baffled that the man would try and kidnap her daughter near a busy street at a public playground.
“It’s dumbfounding actually because I can’t even image what thoughts were going through his head, trying to take a child in broad day light in an open place like this,” she said.
She added Isobel is too young to realize what almost happened to her.
“It hasn’t affected her in any way other than telling me her ankle hurt and her knee hurts when he dropped her when he was attacked for trying to take her,” she said.
The mother said she won’t be able to sleep at night until the suspect is captured.