The bus driver who saved a kidnapped boy this week near San Francisco by tricking the kidnapper is being called a true hero by police. While driving his bus in East Bay, VTA bus driver Tim Watson heard the alert that a 3-year-old boy had been kidnapped at a local library and that police were desperately looking for the kidnapper and the little boy.
According to a San Francisco ABC7 News report on June 5, the 3-year-old boy was with his mother at the Milpitas Public Library about 45 miles from San Francisco when 23-year-old Alfonso David Edington of Pittsburg apparently abducted the little boy around 10:40 a.m. on Friday. So far, police have not found any connection between the little boy and Edington. A motive for the kidnapping is unclear.
After the little boy was taken by the suspect from the library, officers quickly closed the location to incoming and outgoing traffic. Police officers also notified all neighboring agencies and transportation agencies to be on the lookout for the little boy and his kidnapper.
Valley Transit Authority bus driver Watson says that he had been trained for such a situation, but whether or not one would be able to remain calm when spotting a kidnapper and his victim on a bus was a different experience. Watson, however, proved that he was up to the challenge.
When Watson noticed that one of his passengers fit the description of the suspected kidnapper and that the little boy in the man’s company was crying, he pulled over his bus and pretended that he had to look for a lost backpack in order to see if the little boy was indeed the kidnapped child.
“What I’m really trying to do is to get up without him knowing to look at the little boy. So sure enough, I see the plaid shorts and red shoes. That’s what really stuck out in my mind,” Watson recalled.
Once Watson verified that the 3-year-old was the kidnapped child, Watson returned to his bus driver seat and continued as usual while quickly radioing the police.
By the time the bus reached the Fremont BART station and the kidnapper began getting off the bus with the boy in his arms, police were ready for them. “So I open my door one slowly, giving them time to get prepped and ready to go. I open up door two, the gentleman walks out calm, cool, collected as can be and they take him down on the spot.”
The bus driver who saved the kidnapped boy remained calm and cool throughout the experience until he saw the little 3-year-old boy being reunited with his parents. “And that’s when my own kids came to mind and I just broke down. I couldn’t hold myself down. I just had to go inside the bus and reflect,” Watson said.