Two Chicago Streets and Sanitation workers are credited with saving a boy from a would-be kidnapper.
Alfreda Clark and Mary Baggett were surveying a lot near 71st and Morgan Thursday morning when a young boy came running up between two abandoned buildings nearby.
“I was going to chastise the little boy for going between two abandoned buildings because I’m thinking, you could get hurt up in here,” Clark said.
The pair quickly learned the boy wasn’t getting into trouble – he was trying to avoid it. He was running from a man he says tried to grab him as he stopped to tie his shoelaces while walking to his sister’s house nearby.
“He had fear all over his face. So I said, ‘Are you alright?’ and he didn’t say nothing at first. And then I asked again, ‘Are you alright?’ And he said, ‘He’s chasing me,’” Clark said.
Clark and Baggett quickly got the 10-year-old into their car then followed the suspect as he walked away, making sure they had a good description
“He got on his cell phone. He made a call but in the process, I constantly made sure I asked the little boy, ‘Are you sure this is the man?’ And he said, ‘Yes. I’m sure. He was chasing me.’ So that’s when I dialed 9-1-1,” Clark said.
Baggett gave police a detailed description, and took the little boy to his sister’s home.
A short time later, police arrested 57-year-old George Graves into custody in the 7000 block of South Carpenter. He was identified by the young boy and has been charged with attempted kidnapping.
Today, Clark and Baggett are being hailed as heroes, commended by Mayor Emanuel who went on to say: “From every city department to every neighbor and family, we all must play a role in making sure our children are safe and have every opportunity to succeed.”
“I’m proud to be able to say I saved a child’s life,” Mary said.
The Englewood Area Police who arrested the suspect say the boy’s family should also be commended.
“We applaud the father for taking the initiative to let his son know to run when you see something that doesn’t look right. Without that, maybe this story would be a little different,” said Chicago Police Officer Aloysius Reeves.
Graves is being held on $250,000 bond.