Have you ever noticed something strange happening around you?
Most of the time, people walk around in life lost in their own world. We go about our business keeping our heads down, concerned only with our own needs. If we do see something strange, we often just pass by without giving it a second glance. Still, amazing things can happen when we get out of our own heads.
Fortunately, for a family in danger in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, one woman was paying close attention.
It started as a normal shopping day like any other for Tia Withers.
She had just finished her errands and was walking back to her car through a Walmart parking lot with her two children. As soon as they got into the car and were ready to drive off, Withers noticed something unusual. Standing outside a car parked nearby was a woman and a boy looking very afraid—and a strange man standing beside them. The situation changed when the man turned his back.
While he wasn’t paying attention, the mother turned to Withers and mouthed the words: “Help me, we’ve been kidnapped.”
Needless to say, Withers was shocked by what she’d seen.
Before anything else could happen, she overheard the man yelling at the woman and the boy to get back in the car. Withers knew she had to act fast. She pulled in front of the car, blocking it in so that the man couldn’t escape. Without wasting another moment, she called 911.
Still, things escalated quickly after the man realized what was happening.
The man threw the car in reverse and rammed Withers’s car.
Because she was with her children, Withers had to move her car out of the way. As the man attempted to flee the parking lot, Withers stayed on the phone and gave chase, speeding through traffic while giving the police details on the assailant’s car and license plate.
After staying on him for long enough, the police finally arrived and apprehended him.
The man was identified as Michael McKinney, a kidnapper who had driven his victims all the way from North Carolina.
McKinney had been driving the woman and her son to a Western Union where he tried unsuccessfully to extort them. Towards the end of the pursuit, he even tried to throw a bag of drugs away in the bushes so that police wouldn’t find them!
Fortunately, thanks to Withers’ intervention, McKinney was arrested and the kidnapped family was returned to safety. Though the experience was likely a harrowing one for Withers, her quick thinking was able to save this family from an unknown and potentially dangerous fate.
Well done, Tia!