Neighbors react after two kids were almost abducted in Rock Island

Local News

You talk to your children about what to do if a stranger approaches, but you hope they never have to experience anything that scary.

It happened to two children in Rock Island Sunday: A four-year-old and a five-year-old.

It happened around 1:30 Sunday afternoon on McMillan Court in Rock Island.

Police say a man in a gold van pulled up to the children who were playing in their front yard. He got out and approached the kids.

The older son rose to the challenge and grabbed his younger sister and hurried inside.

A public safety officer who was nearby saw it all unfold, and detained a suspect before police arrived and arrested him. Investigators say that man is Jason Rottman.

He faces child abduction charges.

“This guy was coming at him, asking him to get in his car. He was terrified.”

Parents Bre Daniels and Zack Cochuyt say their 5-year-old son Christian listened to his gut when a man drove up their front yard, and approached him asking him to get in the car.

“He said ‘No, I don’t know you. I don’t talk to strangers,’ and he kind of took off. The guy yelled and cursed at him to get in the car. That’s when he came running in the house,” says Cochuyt.

Christian’s younger sister was also playing in the yard.

“I grabbed her hand, and I ran,” says Christian.

Michael Carr, a neighbor in the community, says he was outside mowing the lawn when he looked up and saw the van.

“It’s not normal for this neighborhood. I’ve been here 66 years,” says Carr. “He probably got 10 or 15 feet into the yard. The security from the hospital were on the job. He hollered at the man to get back in the car and the man turned around and started walking towards the car. That’s when he handcuffed him.”

Carr says although the neighborhood is a safe area it’s always important to be vigilant.

“We have 28 grandkids. We don’t let them out alone. You have to watch you kids,” says Carr.

Christian’s mother, Bre Daniels, says it’s a reminder to watch out for your surroundings.

“Regardless of wherever you live, if you think it’s safe or not,” she said. “It may not be the neighborhood, it’s the people,” says Daniels.

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