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Good Samaritan Mistaken For Kidnapper, Beaten, Forced To Leave Florida Town

REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter

A Good Samaritan was mistaken for a kidnapper when he approached a young lost girl in Florida to help her find her parents, reports say.

Lakeland, Fla. police said that the girl’s parents came looking for their daughter and were told that witnesses had seen a man leading her to a nearby playground. The girl’s father assumed that his daughter was being kidnapped and gathered “some of his friends,” grabbing his daughter and attacking the man, CNN reported Wednesday.

The man told police he wouldn’t press charges because he himself has two daughters and understood the father’s reaction. Nevertheless, the girl’s parents held the belief that the man had been trying to kidnap their daughter, spreading his information across social media and warning people that he was dangerous.

The father became angry when police told him his daughter’s “kidnapper” would not be arrested.

“So I guess in Lakeland, you can kidnap a child and get away with it,” the father told police.

Sgt. Gary Gross of the Lakeland Police Department reportedly said that the Good Samaritan and his family had been forced to leave town after receiving threats.

“They still think their daughter was trying to be kidnapped,” Gross said. “They’re just not listening.”

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