A 12-year-old boy dove from a moving vehicle to escape a suspected kidnapper in South Florida, police say.
The child was treated for abrasions to his forehead, arms and hands, while the suspect, 26-year-old Timothy Miller of West Palm Beach, was arrested on charges of kidnapping under the age of 13, resisting an officer with violence and child neglect, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The boy told detectives that he got off his school bus and was walking home in Boynton Beach on Wednesday afternoon when a man driving a white pickup truck pulled over and offered him a ride. The man, later identified as Miller, told the child that he gives rides to kids "all the time" and "not to worry" because he "won't do anything weird," according to the affidavit.
The boy said Miller "seemed nice and had a friendly smile," so he accepted his offer and got in the truck. But then, the child said, Miller started to "act different" and looked at him "strangely," while driving erratically and asking if he had any drugs, according to the affidavit.
The boy said he became frightened and tried to open the passenger door to get out, but Miller told him he couldn't leave and sped up in an effort to prevent him from doing so. Still, the child managed to open the door and jumped from the moving vehicle, according to the affidavit.
Onlookers who saw the boy land on the pavement stopped to help him, while two others went after Miller and followed his truck onto Interstate 95. When Miller got off at an exit, the other drivers used their cars to block in his truck until police arrived. Miller "repeatedly violently resisted officer's attempts to detain him" but was ultimately taken into custody, according to the affidavit.
Miller told detectives that he picked up the boy because he thought he was a teenager and could sell him drugs, according to the affidavit.
"We are grateful to the Good Samaritans who assisted us with taking Miller into custody," the Boynton Police Department said in a Facebook post. "We encourage parents to use this as an opportunity to remind their children about the dangers of getting into a car with someone they do not know."