A bus driver on the job for less than six months was honored for his heroic actions behind the wheel.
Tim Watson, a bus driver from California, was on the job when he became wary of one of his passengers. His fast thinking to confirm his suspicions ended up saving a life.
Earlier in the day, Watson read about a three-year-old boy who went missing from Milpitas Public Library. According to the police report, a homeless man carried the child out. Later on, Watson noticed a crying young boy on his bus sitting next to an older man. Since the toddler appeared to match the description of the kidnapped child, he came up with a way to identify the boy without tipping off the potential kidnapper.
A quick-thinking Watson wanted to get a closer look at the child. He pulled over the bus, pretending to look for a missing green backpack.
“What I’m really trying to do is to get up without him knowing to look at the little boy,” Watson said. “So sure enough, I see the plaid shorts and red shoes. That’s what really stuck out in my mind.”
He called dispatchers, who notified authorities.
“The bus driver is a hero, an absolute hero,” Milipitas Police Chief Steve Pangelinan told reporters.
Authorities met the bus at about 11:40 a.m. as it pulled into the Fremont train station, about 12 miles away from the library. Watson opened the bus doors slowly to give the police time to prepare.
Police arrested the suspect, identified as Alfonso Edington, and they reportedly had to “pry the child away” from him.
“The gentleman walks out calm, cool, collected as can be and they take him down on the spot,” Watson told ABC 7.
Edington struggled with police before giving up the child and getting arrested, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The child was not harmed, Pangelinan said. He was reunited with his emotional parents at the police station.
Investigators are trying to determine why Edington snatched the child and what he planned to do with him, Pangelinan said.
“There are so many unanswered questions,” he said.
Watch the video report here: CBS News/Youtube