A Florida man who followed two girls into a church in an attempt to kidnap them last week was thwarted by an observant mother.
David Daniels, 37, of Brandon, began following the two elementary school-age telling them he would supervise their walk home, according to Hillsborough County deputies.
As Daniels followed the girls past a church, the woman who spotted them said that she felt something was wrong.
"One of the little girls was mouthing to me, ‘Please help me, this is not my dad,’" the woman, who did not wish to be identified, said.
The woman said that Daniels put his arm around the neck of one of the girls and began saying something in her ear. He then said that they had just moved here and wanted to help, according to the woman.
The woman said that she had a feeling the man was not telling the truth, so she invited them into the church until she had a chance to call the police for help.
"I engaged in conversation with him," she said. "I said, 'Oh that's nice, where did you move here from?' He said, ‘Oh, I am not really sure.’"
Deputies located Daniels walking back toward the downtown area and arrested him.
Deputies said that before they reached the church, Daniels had struck one of the girls in the head multiple times and put the other in a headlock. Deputies said the children believed they were being kidnapped.
The anonymous woman who has children of her own said that she doesn’t want any recognition,
"I don't want to be a hero," she said. "I just did what I hope anybody would do for my own kids."
Daniels was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on two counts each of false imprisonment of a child and child abuse. He was being held on a $104,000 bond.