Reporting Mike Parker
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CHICAGO (CBS) – A 55-year-old man with a previous criminal record allegedly tried to kidnap a 2-year-old Zion girl at Daley Plaza last weekend, but the girl’s father stopped him, then chased him down until police were able to arrest the man.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza has become a magnet for kids looking for fun in the Loop. Saturday night, it turned into a scary scene for a Zion family.
Kelly Davis and Amanda Green were watching their 2-year-old daughter Myla and her 4-year-old sister slide on the landmark when a man approached Myla and grabbed her arm, saying she was his daughter.
“He was so adamant that he had a nickname, He called her Goldilocks,” Davis said.
He said the man seemed to challenge him to a fight, then threw a punch. There was a scuffle before the man ran off.
“I kind of shoulder-checked him to get away,” Davis said.
Green said, during the confrontation, most other people at Daley Plaza just stood and watched
“Everybody’s just standing there. Nobody did anything. Everybody just stood there staring at us the whole time,” she said.
After the scuffle by the Picasso, the man took off on foot, but he didn’t count on Davis giving chase.
Davis followed the man for block after block – sometimes walking, sometimes running.
“If he would’ve ran to the end of the city, I would’ve chased him to the end of the city,” Davis said.
Finally, at the corner of LaSalle and Washington streets, Davis flagged down police, who grabbed the man, and arrested him.
The man, identified as 55-year-old James Gates, was charged with attempted kidnapping and battery.
“Because of that guy, my kids are going to have fears, and memories that no 2- and 4-year-old ever should,” Davis said.
Gates has a criminal record that includes drug and armed robbery charges.