Parent beats up good Samaritan helping lost child, police say

Florida: Man Trying To Help Lost Child Mistaken For a Child Predator

A man trying to help a lost toddler find her parents was misidentified as a kidnapper on social media at the weekend, according to police in the USA, prompting him to leave his hometown in fear for his safety and the safety of his family.

Then, you have the parents, who see a stranger carrying their little girl in the direction of the parking lot afraid he's trying to kidnap her.

Meanwhile, police say the good Samaritan could have pressed charges against Strickland but didn't because he, himself, is a dad and understands that Strickland was frantic over his girl going missing.

The girl's father admitted he punched the man "probably about five or six times".

A Lakeland, Florida, man fled his home because he feared for his and his family's safety after social media posts identified him as a kidnapper, according to the Washington Post.

"This guy is a father, a local businessman, has two children, was trying to help this child but they turned it completely around", Gross told the station, "And that's not right".

Sgt. Gary Gross of the Lakeland Police Department told CNN that the girl's father and some of his friends took the girl and attacked the man.

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When asked, the child's father told us he just doesn't buy the man's version of events.

"However, this incident truly involved a good Samaritan trying to assist a lost child finding" her parents. "One person today called the Lakeland Police Department speaking with a supervisor to get the correct information. What would you do?" the father asked.

The man was visiting friends at the game and after an investigation, police confirmed that he had no criminal history.

The whole episode prompted the Lakeland Police Department to warn people to "be careful about what you post on social media so as not to victimise an innocent person".

Police said they investigated and determined no crime had happened.

At this point, three men approached the man from behind, grabbed the girl from him, and hit him in the face repeatedly. "I wanted to kill him!" But the man who was labeled a child predator on social media told a different side of the story - he said that he found the lost girl and was simply trying to help her find her parents.

"Posting false information on Facebook could cause a defamation of character claim and those posting false information could be held libel". He was called a child predator, which led to the police releasing a warning about posting inaccurate information. Not willing to let the little girl run off alone, the man picked her up and continued toward the playground, still searching for her father.