Police: Father thwarts attempted abduction of 2-year-old son

HALTOM CITY, Texas — A Texas man found himself in a struggle over his 2-year-old son Tuesday evening after a stranger tried to grab the boy and run off with him, police said.

Haltom City police officers were called just before 6:30 p.m. to the scene of the attempted abduction, where the father, identified by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as Hector Alvarez, met with them. Alvarez said he and his son were walking trash to the curb in front of their home when a man grabbed his son's arm.

"The father also grabbed onto his son and started to struggle with the male suspect," police officials said in a news release. "The father yelled at neighbors to call the police, and the suspect let go of the boy and fled the scene on foot between the houses into a nearby creek."

Alvarez told the Star-Telegram Thursday that he never saw the man coming as he and his son made several trips to the curb with trash bags.

“I had grabbed (my son’s) hand and we were going back inside the house,” Alvarez said. “Then this young guy comes out of nowhere and grabbed his arm.”

The stranger never said a word as he struggled to gain control of the toddler, Alvarez said. The man only let go and ran when Alvarez began screaming at a neighbor for help.

"I picked (my son) up and ran inside of the house and put him down," Alvarez told the newspaper. "I ran back outside to see if I could find him, but he was gone."

Police officers were also unable to find the man, despite setting up a perimeter around the area and searching with a K-9 unit, the department's news release said.

The man was described as a Hispanic man with a thin build and standing between 5 feet, 5 inches and 5 feet, 7 inches in height. He was wearing a black hat, a white shirt and shorts.

He also had short facial hair, possibly a goatee.

Residents in Alvarez's neighborhood reported seeing a red, early 2000s model Dodge pickup truck driving slowly through the area earlier in the day Tuesday, but investigators are unsure if the vehicle was connected to the attempted abduction, the news release said.

Alvarez told the Star-Telegram that his son never realized the danger he was in, because he never cried or struggled to get away from the man.

“He must have thought (the man) was someone from the neighborhood,” Alvarez said. “He doesn’t understand what happened.”

The father expressed worry that the man could try to grab someone else’s child.

“If he does this one time, he might do it again,” Alvarez said. “I hope another family doesn’t have to go through what we went through.”