(Reuters) - A quick-thinking bus driver in Northern California was credited with helping in the rescue of a three-year-old boy who was reported kidnapped on Friday, authorities said.
The boy was with his mother in the children’s section of a public library in Milpitas, California, a San Francisco suburb, at about 10:45 a.m. local time when a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt reportedly kidnapped him, Milpitas Police Chief Steve Pangelinan said during a news conference aired on a local NBC affiliate.
The reported abduction set off an alert describing the boy and suspect to area law enforcement and public transportation agencies, Pangelinan said.
About an hour after the reported abduction, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority bus driver Tim Watson saw a man and child he thought may fit the description authorities provided, Watson told reporters.
Watson created a ploy to stop the bus in Fremont, about 12 miles north from the library, at a bus station and walk the aisle under the guise of looking for a lost backpack, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Watson saw the boy was wearing red shoes, fitting the description, and notified his dispatcher, the newspaper reported.
“The bus driver is a hero, an absolute hero,” Pangelinan said.
The suspect, Alfonso Edington, 23, stepped off the bus with the child in his arms, police said, and struggled with officers before releasing the child. The child was unharmed, police said.
Pangelinan said that investigators were working to determine a motive and what the suspect was planning to do with the child.
“There are so many unanswered questions,” he said.
(This story was refiled to add byline and insert dropped word “of” in first paragraph)
Reporting by Emmett Berg in San Francisco; Editing by Mark Potter