Instinctive reactions and selfless bravery may have saved the life of a young girl.
Diners were enjoying early evening sundowners and a meal when their peace was violently interrupted on Thursday, reports Roodepoort Record.
The incident took place at roughly 5pm at the outdoor dining section of an Italian restaurant at Goldman Crossing shopping centre.
A four-year-old girl was with her mother at the restaurant when a man lunged at the little girl and tried to grab her.
Florida police spokesperson Sergeant Mpho More confirmed the incident.
“The unknown male grabbed the child by the neck as if he wanted to take her. The mother and the child screamed and with the help of the shop owner and the community, the suspect was apprehended.”
Originally thought to be an attempted kidnapping, the man appears to have acted without motive, except for his possible drug-fuelled delusions.
One witness, who was dining at the popular eatery, recounts the chaos of the situation.
“He was walking along the street banging on cars. Then he just started running up to the girl. It didn’t look like he was trying to take her, he was really trying to hurt her. His eyes were dead,” the witness claimed.
The suspect, aged 24, has no previous connection to the girl or her family. He appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Friday morning.