FL Mom Tackles Kidnapper, Saves Daughter From Abduction

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on June 09, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

There is such a thing as everyday heroism, when regular folks do something extraordinary because the situation demands it. A Florida mother and an off-duty Citrus County Sheriff's Deputy are fine examples of this, after the mom saved her daughter from a kidnapping and the sheriff's deputy was there to stop the fleeing suspect and arrest him.

The incident happened this week, midday in the aisle of a Dollar General store, and the accused is now in custody awaiting a psychiatric evaluation. He is 30 years old and has only a misdemeanor criminal record, reports NBC News, but the charges against him now are very serious as this was a brazen attempt.

Attempted Kidnapping

Citrus County Sheriff's Office representatives credit the mother of the girl, whose name is not being released, with possibly saving her daughter's life. She and the teen were shopping when the accused, Craig Bonello, allegedly attempted to abduct the girl in full view of her mother and store security cameras. There is footage showing a tug of war between the man and mom.

"In my 10 years on the road I have never seen anything like this," Sergeant Craig Callahan said in a statement. "He truly intended to abduct this child right in front of everyone in the store."

When Bonello ran out, the store manager yelled after him, shouting about the child abduction. An off-duty sheriff who had been testifying in court that morning and was at the store caught the man by blocking the suspect's departure with his own vehicle, then arresting him for the attempt.

An Unusual Suspect

Craig Bonello will be charged with one count of child abuse and one count of attempted kidnapping, the Sheriff's Office reported. He has a minor criminal history but is not a registered sex offender and is not at this time believed to have ever done anything like this misguided daytime abduction.

His uncle told reporters that this is not like his nephew and believes that there may be a mental health issue. Indeed, the defendant is reportedly awaiting a psychiatric evaluation ordered by the court.

Follow FindLaw for Consumers on Facebook and Twitter (@FindLawConsumer).

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard