Police: Man tried to snatch toddler in Tacoma park

by: Kevin McCarty Updated:

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TACOMA, Wash. - A man tried to kidnap a 2-year-old boy from a Tacoma park last weekend and was arrested after a bystander intervened, police said.

The incident happened about 5:15 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Park when the man, later identified as Leroy Freimuth, approached the toddler on the slide and grabbed his arm.

Eyewitnesses said Freimuth was mumbling and acting strangely seconds before he grabbed the boy.

The toddler was at the park with family members, including a teenage girl who grabbed hold of the boy and refused to let go when Freimuth tried to leave with him, police said.  Other kids also intervened and Freimuth appeared to be on drugs.

Some parents left as police were en route.

Police said Freimuth tried to grab other children and then returned to the 2-year-old boy. When the boy's 14-year-old relative refused to let him go,  Freimuth pretended like he was going to punch her, police told The News Tribune.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Freimuth started counting the kids in her group and chanting to himself, "I can do this I can do this." 

“He was talking very non-sensical. But his intent to take a toddler seemed very clear,” said Tacoma police spokeswoman Officer Loretta Cool.

 Freimuth was at first booked into the Pierce County Jail as a John Doe because he refused to give his name.   He was charged on Monday and his bail was set at $500,000.

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