In 2015, a 3-year-old boy was reported missing from a library outside San Francisco. About an hour later, Tim Watson, a Valley Transportation Authority bus driver, saw a man and boy on his bus who resembled the description of the suspect and child. At first, Tim didn’t think much of it — but moments later he noticed the boy was crying.
It was enough to make this bus driver, a dad with two kids of his own, tap into his paternal instincts.
Tim concocted a brilliant plan to thwart the suspect. Instead of questioning or calling attention to him, Tim pulled the bus over and started asking all of the passengers if they’d seen a missing backpack. In reality, he was trying to get to the perpetrator and see if his suspicion was correct. When Tim walked to the back of the bus and noticed the boy was wearing a pair of red Crocs on his feet, as described on the news, he knew he was right.
As he pretended to continue searching for the backpack, Tim secretly called the police.
When the bus arrived at the station, police officers were waiting. There was the 23-year-old suspect, getting off the bus with the missing 3-year-old in his arms. Authorities said they had to”pry the child away” from the kidnapper, before taking him into custody. The child appeared to have no injuries.
When Tim learned this was indeed an abduction and his instincts were spot-on, he broke down. “This could have been my child that was abducted… I feel I did what any father would do.” What an incredible unlikely hero.
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