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Florida kidnapper tries bold abduction right in front of mom at grocery store–then her instincts kick in

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Clip via Tampa Bay Times.

A Florida mom’s instincts kicked into high gear when a 30-yerar-old man tried to kidnap her teenaged daughter at a Dollar General store Tuesday.

The attempted kidnapping was captured by the Hernando, Florida store’s surveillance cameras as Craig Bonello grabbed the 13-year-old girl and began dragging her in his arms.

Luckily, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy was outside the store and could hear the screams as the mother engaged in a life-and-death tug-of-war with Bonello over her child, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s office released the following audio of the 911 call between the Dollar General store manager and the 911 dispatcher.

Craig Bonello is facing child abuse and kidnapping charges. PHOTO: Citrus County Sheriff's Office
Craig Bonello is facing child abuse and kidnapping charges.
PHOTO: Citrus County Sheriff’s Office

The kidnapper eventually gave up and bolted out the store’s front door, just as deputy Jonathan Behnen was exiting his patrol car.

The deputy was returning from a court appearance in uniform and had stopped at the store to pick up some cleaning suppliers.

“When I first saw him run out the building, I thought it was just a shoplifter,” Behnen said during a Wednesday news conference.

Thinking quickly, Behnen used his patrol car to block Bonello’s vehicle in, and ordered him out of the car.

The Times reported:

The girl and her mother told deputies they had never seen or spoken with Bonello before. Deputies said Bonello had been arrested several times in Citrus County. His other charges are mostly misdemeanors, but he was charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer in 2009, deputies said. He was most recently arrested for trespassing in February, they said.

He told detectives he was at the Dollar General, admitted it was “where the incident occurred” and said he did not know the girl or her mother, according to an arrest report. He would not tell police what he planned on doing after the kidnapping, the report said.


“The individual may have gotten away yesterday” but for his deputy, Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said. “The real concern is what would have he done the rest of the day and today as he searched for another victim?”

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