Police said a quick-thinking father helped authorities arrest a man Thursday in Carnegie accused of harassing two boys standing at a bus stop.
Channel 11’s Jodine Costanzo reported that police said Stanley Patterson, of Heidelberg, approached the boys, ages 7 and 8, as they were waiting for a bus Thursday morning and asked them to “Come over.” Investigators said Patterson also grabbed one of the boys by the shoulder.
“He reached up and grabbed one of the children by the arm. The child broke away and he said, ‘Come back here,’” the boys’ father, Jason Smith said.
Patterson told Costanzo that he is a preacher and wasn’t trying to hurt the kids.
“I said, ‘Good morning lads. On your way to school?’” Patterson said. “No, I wasn’t (trying to kidnap those kids). Why would I bother to harm little kids?”
Authorities said the boys ran from the bus stop and called their father, who came to the bus stop and took a picture of Patterson before he got on the bus.
"They came in the house all roweled up, screaming and hollering that someone tried to grab them," Smith said. "I chased him down, and the first thing he said was that he was a pastor, and I said, 'What's that got to do with anything? Why are you grabbing my kids?'"
Smith said he called police and sent them the picture he took of Patterson. Police said within 30 minutes, a bus driver said he had a man matching the description on his bus.
At the next stop, detectives arrested Patterson and charged him with unlawful restraint of a minor and harassment.
“I give all praises to the police. They’re real heroes. They caught him,” Smith said.
Patterson remains in the Allegheny County Jail.
“They did absolutely the right thing. The father, I can’t give enough kudos to him,” Carnegie Police Chief Jeffrey Harbin said.
Smith said he was so proud of his boys that he bought them donuts and walked them to school.