A woman fought off a man who tried to kidnap her 13-year-old daughter on Tuesday while they were shopping at a Dollar General store in Hernando, Florida, and a security video of the fierce struggle went viral.
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office posted the video on its Facebook page, and the mother's desperate efforts to free the girl from suspect Craig Bonello, 30, had garnered 1.5 million views and 24,000 shares by Wednesday afternoon.
"And now another thing for me to be scared of! Broad daylight in front of the Mom!" Facebook user Marie Brooks commented on the video.
"Made my blood run cold," wrote Facebook user Rhonda Green. "God bless this momma and child."
Under the woman's relentless pummeling, Bonello eventually released the teen and tried to flee but was apprehended by off-duty Deputy Jonathan Behnen, who was in the parking lot.
“In my ten years on the road I have never seen anything like this,” Sgt. Craig Callahan said in a written statement. “He truly intended to abduct this child right in front of everyone in the store.”
Mother and daughter were uninjured, Callahan said, without releasing their names.
Bonello faces abuse and attempted kidnapping charges and is scheduled to be arraigned June 27th, according to the Citrus County Courthouse.
Dollar General spokesman Dan MacDonald said in an interview that no employees had been hurt. "Very thankful for that and the work of the off-duty deputy who made the arrest," he said.
Craig Bonello, 30, in his arrest photo. Photo: Reuters/Citrus County Sheriff's Office