He could have just driven by her, but when Todd Labonte spotted a woman walking in the middle of the road, he offered to help by giving her a ride. That turned out to be a dangerous move.
As WMUR reports, once the 52-year-old man invited Joanne Shaw into his car, she decided to take something precious from inside … his one-year-old daughter.
Rochester, New Hampshire, Police Captain Jason Thomas explained the frightening scene in which the father found himself:
“She started unbuckling the 21-month-old in the backseat, saying she was going to take the child.”
As he tried to keep his car on the road, the father began battling with Shaw. Captain Thomas said:
“As you can imagine, him trying to stop this lady from taking his daughter while also trying to pull over.”
The fight went on as Labonte tried to protect his daughter from being taken by the woman to whom he had shown kindness. At one point, she grabbed for the car key, snapping it in half while it was still in the ignition.
The situation got worse as the father slowed the car down; Shaw became more aggressive in her fight to take the child:
“So when the car actually came to a stop, she was actually able to unbuckle the 21-month-old and exit the vehicle with the child.”
According to WSMV, Labonte chased after the stranger, attempting to grab his little girl out of Shaw’s arms as she tried to flee with her. When his daughter fell, Shaw attacked Labonte, punching him in the face two times and telling him his child wasn’t safe with him.
On 07-22-2017 at 8:41am, Officers of the Rochester Police Department responded to Washington Street for a report of a…
Three witnesses watched as Labonte rescued his child from the attempted kidnapping.
Shaw reportedly has a history of mental illness. She also has a child of her own — a six-moth-old son who was recently taken away from her “due to concerns for her declining mental health.”
Shaw’s mother was granted temporary guardianship of the boy.
As a result of the attempted abduction, Shaw faces charges of kidnapping, simple assault, criminal mischief, and resisting detention (for fighting with officers during her arrest.) Her bail was set at $25,000 cash.
Rochester police urged people not to make this same mistake — if you find a stranger who looks like they need help, call the police instead of picking them up.