By Rebecca White / The Spokesman-Review
SPOKANE — Police say a man tried to kidnap an 11-year-old from Riverfront Park during Hoopfest on Sunday, but after the crowd noticed the child’s mother screaming, several people intervened.
Peter Wilson, 26, was allegedly walking around Riverfront Park early Sunday afternoon when he asked a woman if the children standing around her belonged to her, according to a news release. The woman and her child were sitting near the water fountain and Looff Carrousel when Wilson approached them.
After she said yes, he allegedly wrapped his arms around the child. The woman screamed that the child was hers, and held onto the child while Wilson tried to pull the child away. Several people in the crowd intervened and pushed Wilson to the ground until police arrived. Police spokesman Ron Van Tassel said Wilson was acting extremely irritated, so the fire department sedated him before he was taken to the hospital.
Van Tassel said Wilson wasn’t affiliated with Hoopfest or on a team, and had been wandering through the park.
According to the news release, witnesses said they had seen Wilson behaving strangely around children in the park.
Police arrested Wilson on a charge of kidnapping, and he has since been booked into jail.
According to the news release, Wilson already has been convicted for fourth-degree assault, harassment, malicious mischief, theft and resisting arrest.