Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Parent beats up good Samaritan helping lost child, police say

Parent beats up good Samaritan helping lost child, police say

A Florida man trying to help a lost toddler was beaten by the girl's father, who mistakenly thought she was being abducted, police said.

When the girl's father caught up to the man, he admits, he punched him "probably about five or six times". "She was wandering off and he did the right thing by going to her, getting her attention, trying to find the parents", Gross said.

But as the pair neared a playground, the girl's father suddenly appeared and was enraged.

"It is understandable how parents can possibly be upset in a situation involving a lost child", the statement said.

The 2-year-old had become separated from her folks during a softball game on Saturday at Southwest Sports Complex in Lakeland, and was spotted by a man at the park with his friends, according to a police incident report published Sunday. "I wanted to kill the man", Strickland told FOX 13.

The man and his family have left the area, fearing for their safety, police said. Soon, his information was everywhere. The dad's still not convinced he was trying to help find the girl's parents, but a lot of the nasty posts on social media have been deleted.

"I can only imagine the fear that was in them but I'm so glad they were able to act fast and keep their little girl from being taken", the post said.

His picture was plastered all over social media with the caption, "Lets [sic] make him go around on here to help keep all babies safe from this ".

Patel, however, declined to press charges against Strickland because as a father, he understood the reaction to seeing his daughter with a potential kidnapper, according to police. The two wandered around the facility, and he pointed to different people asking if they were her family members - in each case, she said they were not. "They're just not listening".

'Posting false information on Facebook could cause a defamation of character claim and those posting false information could be held libel, ' the Lakeland Police Department wrote on its Facebook page.

Lakeland police quickly tried to combat the spread of false information and issued a warning on Facebook: "Be careful about what you post on social media so as to not victimize an innocent person".

'Before posting information on matters such as this, we encourage people to identify the source and the validity of such claims before sharing them'.

The Lakeland PD noted that spreading false information on social media can have legal consequences. But he stands by them.

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