COLUMBIA, IL (KTVI) - A Columbia, Illinois father saw something strange, acted fast, and ended up saving his own son. The alleged kidnapping incident happened on Saturday just before seven in the 900 block of north Metter.
According to Columbia police, 45-year old Robert Fricke is accused of kidnapping and assaulting a boy under 10 years old.
Neighbors say the child was playing in his front yard with his sibling when Fricke snatched the boy and ran to his home across the street. The child’s father saw the incident rushed to the home and rescued his son who was able to break free and open a door. Neighbors also say Fricke was doing what he normally does for people in the neighborhood; he was cutting grass just minutes before the alleged attack.
The boy suffered a bite to his ear.
Glenda Vieregge lives nearby and says the neighborhood is still on edge. She added that Fricke was mentally challenged.
"He was helpful as a matter of fact I saw him cutting across the street on Saturday evening. He was cutting gras…next thing I know the ambulance was there. We are all really shocked." said Vieregge.
Fricke is being held at the Monroe County Jail on charges of aggravated kidnapping of a child, one count of aggravated battery and unlawful restraint. His bond is set at $250,000. He's expected in court on October 2nd.
According to the Monroe County Independent Fricke has a pending battery charge from 2009, but a judge ruled that he was mentally unfit to stand trial.