GREENSBORO, N.C. — Police say a Greensboro man's swift actions saved an 8-year-old little girl from being abducted and sexually assaulted.
The attempted kidnapping happened on December 27 at the Biscuitville on West Market Street.
Customer Cody Byrd noticed something was off, based on the way now-identified 55-year-old Timothy Fry stared at the girl.
"It's just the way he was staring way too intently and that’s what really kind of made me think 'OK something’s not right," Byrd said.
Though he didn't know the girl or eventual suspect, his gut was telling him to intervene.
Byrd said the girl got up to go to the bathroom, and Fry followed her. So he followed Fry.
"I just tried to think 'OK how am I going to play this because I knew he was up to something," Byrd explained. "As soon as I heard the women’s bathroom door open that’s when and I saw the girl coming out and he tried to grab her and I confronted him about it."
The victim was in distress.
"She kind of dodged to the left, and let out a little yelp before she ran off."
Tense moments followed between Byrd and Fry.
"I said 'hey do you know her? What are you doing?'" Byrd reenacted. "And he was nervous-acting."
Byrd can't remember exactly what he said back, but said it didn't sit well with him.
"He said the weirdest thing that still sticks with me, something like 'I’m trying to send a message.'”
The suspect hurried out of the restaurant, and Byrd did the only thing he could think to do: snap some pictures.
"I was honestly thinking 'should I try to grab him? Should I pull him down? And something popped into my head 'no,' just take some pictures and call 911."
Byrd got photos of the suspect and the car, including a clear visual of the license plate. It led police to arrest Fry and charge him with Attempted Kidnapping and Indecent Liberties.
Greensboro Police and the victim's mother are hailing Byrd as a hero.
"They thanked me for it, the detectives involved all the Greensboro Police Department," Byrd said. "The mom hugged me and said 'thank you so much you were her guardian angel.'"
But he doesn't see himself as a hero.
"I think I more just look at it as someone who was there doing their civil duty, helping someone when I saw a situation of danger."
Greensboro police say the 8-year-old was grabbed inappropriately. Court documents reveal that Fry said he was sexually attracted to the child. Officers believe Fry has mental instabilities.
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