Father stops attempted abduction of 13-year-old daughter

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A father stopped the attempted abduction of his 13-year-old daughter, but he didn't just stop the kidnapping. He made sure the suspect was caught.

"It was Labor Day, Monday, and I was out here grilling, barbecuing," said Anthony.

Anthony was spending the holiday with his family. His 13-year-old daughter was outside nearby when a stranger pulled up in a car right next to them.

"My daughter and her friend were out here playing. A guy pulled up and started looking at them and harassing them a little bit," said Anthony.

His daughter immediately went and told her father about the stranger.

"I told them to come around here and stand by me," said Anthony.

The next thing he knew, the suspect got out of his car. Police later identified him as Lionel Williams.

"The next thing I know, out of the blue, he pulls up and opens his door and proceeds to come over to my daughter who is standing right behind me over here and decides to go at and grab her arm. Tried to attempt to pull her. I'm like 'Hey, what are you doing?'" said Anthony.

SEE RELATED STORY: Woman tried to abduct HISD student near Herod Elementary School, police say

He said Williams then panicked and tried to get back in the car.

"I'm like, 'No. No. No.' And then I grabbed his keys out of the ignition, and I grabbed his phone, and he ran out toward the street," said Anthony.

He and his neighbors chased Williams and flagged down an Houston ISD officer who happened to be driving by. Anthony said the officer held Williams until police arrived.

Williams was charged with attempted kidnapping and a DWI for being under the influence while operating a vehicle.

"It doesn't happen a lot. I don't want parents to get scared or worried about this story, but it's the perfect opportunity to have that conversation with your kids," said Jill Wells, a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

The 13-year-old had mace to protect herself. Everyone was proud of her for thinking quickly.

"Very proud. We love her very much," said Anthony.

Anthony said he hopes it serves as a good reminder to stay vigilant and to make sure you talk to your children about stranger dangers.

MORE: Protecting your kids from stranger danger

For updates on this story, follow Marla Carter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.