• The mother was keeping an eye on the boy while he was at the playground
  • The abductor grabbed the boy and locked him inside his apartment
  • Suspect was taken into custody and charged with first-degree kidnapping

A mother and her neighbors broke down a door to safely rescue her 7-year-old child, who was snatched from a playground in Oregon.

Cops arrested the kidnapper and said they were grateful for “the quick-actions and watchful eyes of the mother and neighbors.”

The incident took place Wednesday while the child was playing outside his apartment complex in Tigard. His mother was keeping an eye on him from inside the apartment. Cops said the mother saw the accused man, James Harman II, 56, grabbing her son from the playground, according to the Kansas City Star.

Neighbors also sensed something wrong when they saw the man with the child.

"I noticed that he was starting to lure the kid inside his apartment, and so I ran down and I was like screaming for another neighbor to get him," witness Amanda Terpening told KGW-TV. "And when we finally got to the back door it was just closing and the door locked."

Another witness, Ashley Scott, also recalled seeing the 7-year-old boy at the playground before looking again about 15 to 20 minutes later to find Harman walking with the child.

“We see him walking with the little boy down the hill, then he walks him back, then he comes in and takes him into his house,” Scott told KOIN 6.

Harman took the boy to his apartment and locked the door with both of them inside. The mother and neighbors followed the man and broke the door down, but Harman ran out the back door with the child. The abductor ultimately let the child free.

“He just kinda let him out and like let his hand go,” Scott told the outlet.

The mother hugged her boy and “was crying, and when she was crying and weeping you could hear him weeping when they finally met arms together,” Scott added.

“She would not let him go, she had him, she made sure she had her baby,” she went on to say.

Officers from the Tigard Police Department arrived at the scene and took Harman to the Washington County Jail. He was charged with first-degree kidnapping but may face additional charges.

Scott said she has been living next to Harman for close to a year and would even have conversations with him frequently. However, she recently noticed his behavior changing.

Investigators found evidence that led them to believe Harman abducted the boy with the intention of harming him.

"Times are changing. Times are not like before, when we can just let our kids be out to have fun," neighbor Pedro Fernandez told KGW-TV. "Unfortunately there’s people like him that we have to keep an eye on too."

The police department said in their statement: “We are also grateful for the quick-actions and watchful eyes of the mother and neighbors involved in this situation.”

Representative image Credit: Pixabay / Fredomatik