Tuesday, May 12, 2009

WTVC: Suspected Child Kidnapper Captured in the Act


Suspected Child Kidnapper Captured in the Act

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May 11, 2009 - 5:34 PM
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A shirtless stranger lurks in a parking lot, grabs a little girl and takes off - that's what Chattanooga Police tell us happened earlier today. But believe it or not witnesses say a five year old boy helped make this a close call instead a frightening kidnapping.

Jeremy Mizell sits in the back of a squad car after police say he tried to snatch a six year old girl in front the Ace Hardware Store on East Brainerd Rd.

"My heart was beating I thought I was going to have a heart attack I was so scared," Kenneth Scroggins, the girl's grandfather, says. "It's a grandparents worse nightmare because he was ten yards from getting her."

A nightmare that Scroggins says almost became a reality when a stranger lured his six year old granddaughter, Loren, over to a fence on the side of the parking lot.

"He gave you some cookies is that right?" we ask Loren and her five year old brother Eamon. Both shake their heads at the same time. "No he lied," Eamon says.

Instead of cookies Eamon says the stranger served his sister a surprise.

"Grabbed her," Eamon says. "He grabbed her.. what did you do?" we ask. "I went behind him!"

An unlikely hero who managed to pursue Mizell until his grandfather realized what was happening.

"He was going after the guy that had his sister and that's how I see that blue shirt dropping over that wall and I know there not supposed to be in that parking lot," Scroggins says.

So Scroggins took off and caught up with Mizell a few feet away from his car.

"He said I wasn't hurting her I wasn't hurting her and I said yes you was, you was trying to kidnap her and he said please sir don't kill me please sir don't kill me because I told him I was going to kill him," Scroggins says.

But Mizell managed to get away until police caught up with him several block down the road - we're told he was not wearing a shirt or any shoes.

"It was very fortunate that the grandfather was around to observe it, gave chase and recovered the child," Sgt. Jerri Weary, with the Chattanooga Police Department, says.

Sgt. Weary tells us Mizell will face an especially aggravated kidnapping charge but also tells us they found porn in his car which means he could be facing additional.

"They need to hang him - I should have went on and hit him, cause he'll get out again and I bet he's been in there before," Scroggins says.

Police tell us that Mizell has been arrested before for lewd conduct and for inhaling paint.

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