A Kentucky police officer’s bodycam footage captured the moment authorities rescued a young girl from an alleged kidnapping, according to video footage and local reports.
The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) responded to emergency calls in Valley Station on July 2 about a 6-year-old girl who was allegedly pulled off her bike and thrown into a car, according to WHAS 11.
“Witnesses quickly called 911 with a very detailed description of the event & the vehicle and even had a partial license plate,” LMPD Officer Beth Ruoff said, according to WHAS 11. “MetroSafe dispatch was very thorough in communicating the urgency of this situation and 3rd Division promptly responded and saturated the area.”
Footage of the incident shows Sergeant Joe Keeling arresting 40-year-old Robby Wildt while Officer Jason Burba approaches the car asking the individual in the passenger seat to exit the vehicle. But to the officer’s surprise, he found the young victim sitting in the seat, crying.
“I want my daddy!” the girl cries as Burba carries her away from the vehicle. The officers were identified by WHAS 11. (RELATED: REPORT: Registered Sex Offender Charged With Allegedly Murdering 10-Year-Old Girl Was Granted Early Prison Release)
Neighbor Prentiss Weatherford said he was outside of his house the morning of the incident trying to figure out who broke into his family’s car when suddenly a vehicle came around the corner and parked in the middle of the street. A man exited the vehicle and grabbed the victim “by the collar, threw the bike, put her in the passenger seat, and then took off,” Weatherford said, according to the report.
Wildt reportedly told police he saw the young girl playing outside and turned his car around to pick her up. He later told officers he felt bad about taking the victim and was planning on taking her back, according to WHAS 11. Wildt pleaded not guilty to kidnapping charges, according to the report.
“Although we do not want the community to be alarmed, this is certainly an educational opportunity for parents to remind their children that ‘stranger danger’ is real,” Ruoff reportedly said. “It is important to talk to your kids about any adult who tries to use a ruse to lure them to their vehicles or away from public view.”