LANDOVER, Md. (WJLA) – A suspected child predator is in custody in Prince George’s County, thanks to the work of a Good Samaritan who stopped a child abduction from happening.
Police say a 12-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother were waiting to cross Landover Road around 2:30 p.m. Friday to meet their father. The suspect, Michael Jesse McLong, told the little girl he was a police officer before grabbing her by the arm and pulling her toward the back of a nearby shopping center. That’s when a passerby who was at the right place at the right time stepped in.
Eric Lee, who was working at a nearby apartment complex, was on his way to the shopping center to pick up some supplies when he saw McLong with the two children.
“So, I slowed down, I backed up, and I asked, was everything OK? And the little girl said, ‘No, can you please help me, sir?’” Lee recounted. “So, I put the car in park and I got out and [McLong] said, ‘It’s OK, I’m a police officer.’”
“So, I asked the little girl, ‘Do you know him?’ And she said, ‘No, sir, could you please help me?’” Lee continued. “She was in distress; the little boy was crying and screaming, and she was doing the same. So, I asked [McLong] to back away from them. When I approached him, he ran.”
Police say Lee is nothing short of a hero.
“I didn’t do anything spectacular,” Lee said. “It was just—if my child was involved, or my lady’s child was involved, I would want somebody to do the same.”
Once Lee confronted the suspect, the kids were able to break free, and their father came running to reunite with them.
Lee says he dialed 911 and followed the suspect. An off-duty Cheverly Police officer helped hold McLong until Prince George’s County Police arrived.
Detectives are investigating the possibility that there may be additional victims out there, and are asking to speak with anyone who may have had contact with 25-year-old McLong, who is under arrest for attempted kidnapping.