By Rose Sobol and Jennifer Delgado
Tribune reportersPHOTO: Amanda Green, left, holds her newborn son Finley Carlin Davis-Green as her daughter Myla Davis-Green, 2, approaches Myla's father, Kelly Davis, and Green's older daughter, Dorseya Parker Green, 4, right, near the family's Zion home. Davis foiled an attempted abduction of Myla in Daley Plaza, downtown Chicago, over the weekend. (Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune / August 28, 2012)
Kelly Davis wonders what would have happened had he been looking the other way for just a few moments.
He was standing in Daley Plaza, watching his 2-year-old and 4-year-old daughters slide down the Picasso sculpture, when he saw a man rushing toward Myla, the youngest girl, Saturday evening.
The man grabbed the girl's arm, muttering "This is my daughter, Goldilocks," but Davis said he wrestled him away and then chased him through alleys and building lobbies before finally flagging down police.
"I have no doubt that if I had my back turned, he would have grabbed her and she would have been gone in the city and I would have never seen her again," said Davis, 31, who lives in Zion and drives a school bus.
James Gates, 55, was charged with attempted kidnapping and battery, and is being held on $150,000 bail. Police say he has a record that includes armed robbery and drug possession.
Davis said the episode not only has been a hard reminder for him, but a harsh lesson for his daughters that "not everybody is friendly or nice and that there are bad people. . . It was just a horrible experience."
The family had been downtown for one of their "nighttime adventures," Davis said.
"We thought it would be a nice family outing to see the city at night and the girls could see the big skyscrapers and the lights," Davis said. "My daughters wanted to go on the slide in the Picasso statue in the plaza, they like to play on it like it’s a slide."
Davis said he was watching the girls play with other children around 9:30 p.m. when he saw a man approaching. “He was so fixated. . .He was walking past us and pretty much making a bee line for us. He’s not making any eye contact with me and his attention seemed to be toward my kids.
"I turned over my left shoulder to see if he was still coming and he’s stepping on the slide," Davis said.
Davis said he got between the man and the girl, but the man reached over and grabbed Myla by the arm while swinging a punch at Davis. "In my head I was thinking this is so surreal and the adrenaline's running and he wanted to fight me.
"This guy was persistent. He said that this is his daughter and called her Goldilocks and I need to get out of his way…like I don’t even exist," Davis said. "I said, 'Listen buddy, I don’t know what you're on but you need to get away from my family.' "
As he struggled with the man, Green grabbed the girls away. "I used myself as a barricade and I told him if he takes another step toward me or my kids, I will beat the ever living (expletive) out of him," Davis said.
The man finally stepped down and began walking away, but Davis said he followed him. "We went through a maze of buildings and streets, he’s looping around. . .Sometimes he’s running, sometimes he’s walking, and I was trying not to lose him," Davis said.
The chase even went through the Chase Bank building. "At the desk, I told them my name and a his description." Around LaSalle and Washington streets, Davis said he spotted police officers and alerted them and the man was arrested.
Green said she was frantic after Davis ran off. "I was standing there, there are no cops coming, I have two very upset children and my boyfriend just took off with some crazy man and I’m standing by myself in the middle of Chicago."
Davis said the girls were still "scared and crying" when they got back home Saturday night. And Myla still has problems sleeping.
"If a man comes too close, she keeps saying, 'Bad man, bad man,' " Green said. "You can tell it’s greatly affected her."
She and her older sister share a bedroom. “Last night, my little one was having trouble sleeping and she kept coming up crying. My older daughter took her to bed, and she knew exactly why she was crying," Green said. "She said, 'I'll protect you.' And they both fell asleep curled up next to each other."
As legendary radio host Paul Harvey use to say... Now here is the rest of the story...
Here is the offender, James P. Gates. He has been arrested close to a 100 times and has many convictions under his belt. WHY IS THIS ASSHOLE ON THE STREETS AND ABLE TO GRAB A LITTLE WHITE GIRL IN FRONT OF CHICAGO'S DALEY CENTER?
And quite funny that the Chicago Tribune who was given this offender's mugshot refused to post it with the news story.... or mention that the offender was BLACK. Had some white guy tried to kidnap a little black girl you can bet your paycheck the white offender's photo would have been on the front page of both the Sun Times and Tribune.....
And as stated in the police reports the offender shoutED with glee "This is my Goldilocks" as he tried to pull her away....
The offender when confronted by the parents fought them and punched the mother in the face several times while physically pulling the little girl towards him.
THIS ASSHOLE SHOULD HAVE PLACED IN A CHOKE HOLD UNTIL HIS WINDPIPE WAS CRUSHED. IMAGINE IF SOME WHITE GUY ATTEMPTED TO SNATCH A LITTLE BLACK GIRL FROM A CROWD OF BLACKS. HE WOULD NOT BE ALIVE....