A terrified metro mother reported a missing child on Wednesday from a ballpark near Britton Road and the Lake Hefner Parkway. Oklahoma City police said the woman’s 10-year-old son was abducted from the Sandlot ballpark and later arrested Ryan Miller, 39, on one complaint of kidnapping.
Police officials said on Thursday the victim did everything right to get away from the suspect. They urged parents to talk to their children about “Stranger Danger” not just at ballparks but everywhere.
The 10-year-old victim was sitting on the stands around 9:30 a.m. when a stranger showed up.
“The child had indicated that while he was waiting on his mother to pick him up from baseball practice,” said Sgt. Dillon Quirk, Oklahoma City Police Department. “An unknown person for whatever reason had come up to the child.”
Police said Miller grabbed the child from behind and carried him about 100 feet to a wooden fence. The child told officers he fought his way free by punching and elbowing the man in the chest. Meanwhile, a frantic mother called police when she showed up to the ballpark and her son was nowhere in sight. The only other adult in the area was a groundskeeper.
“Fortunately, the child was, he did everything he was supposed to do,” said Quirk. “Run, yell, tell, as we say.”
The groundskeeper noticed the accused kidnapper was running down a gravel road towards a hole in the fence and followed him on an ATV. When officers showed up, they went after the man and spoke to the boy. They said he was crying and visibly shaken up.
Miller was found calmly walking a few blocks away. Police released body camera footage of the man’s arrest.
Police said the situation was a scary reminder that someone can take a child in only seconds.
“Obviously, when you deal with minor children situations,” said Quirk. “A group setting or an adult to be visible is always the safest bet.”
Miller was booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center. His bond was set at $50,000.