Man arrested for kidnapping 4-year-old deaf child
[Transcript] A Deaf family from Gadsen, Alabama, the Williams, said a man who lived near them took their four-year-old daughter to his home without their knowledge nor permission last week.
The man, Darrell Wade Watkins, was arrested and charged with second-degree kidnapping.
The father, Jeremiah, told “The Daily Moth” that he was cutting wood with power tools in the front of his house when Watkins pulled up to the front of their home in a truck.
What happened? First of all, a white male, Darrell, drove from down the road and past me. I glanced at him as I was cutting wood. He then turned his truck back and parked. We asked what was up. The man said, “Hello, how are you? I’ve missed you. I haven’t seen you in a while.” My daughter could speak so she helped with interpreting and communication. The man kept on saying, “God bless you.” He appeared to be a bit buzzed. But it seemed to be okay because we knew him for almost a year. He offered to help me to cut wood with his equipment, a saw and a trimmer, but I said I didn’t need his help and we were already about to leave after I finished a bit of work. The man said, “Oh, okay.”
Alex: The couple has four children and all of them were outside with both parents. The man sat down on the porch. The father went back to his yard work.
The mother, Mirandia, said her son fell and hurt his knee, so he picked him up and walked to let Jeremiah know that she would be going inside and that he needed to watch the kids.
She said when she came back, she saw that the 4-year-old girl was missing.
I thought it was harmless because I knew the man for a year. I assumed it was okay because he was just sitting there. After I walked away and came back, I was puzzled because I saw my older daughter and another daughter there, but (the 4-year-old girl) was missing. The man was already gone. It took less than two minutes for me to talk with my husband and to get band-aid for my son’s knee. He was gone and it was less than two minutes. I couldn’t believe it.
Alex: Jeremiah said he immediately drove towards where the man came from. He did not know where he lived, but saw the same truck the man used parked at a home. He called Mirandia’s father, who is hearing, on FaceTime so he could help with communication.
I was talking with her father, who is my father-in-law, on my phone. I got out of my vehicle and saw through the door’s screen the man holding a cat. My daughter was petting it. I pointed my phone towards him so my father-in-law could witness the kid in there. He immediately called the police. The phone battery died. I opened the door and went inside and grabbed my kid and told the man to back off. The man was shocked and said, “I’m sorry.” He looked drunk. I said don’t take her without my permission. Really, I could have hit him, but I saw that my daughter looked excited with the cat and I didn’t want to beat him up and cause confusion and trauma for my daughter. I kept my cool, took her, and told him to back off. I decided to let the police handle it. The man said he was sorry. I left, got home, and after a while a police vehicle came up.
Alex: The girl was taken to a hospital for an examination, and everything looked normal.
The parents said Watkins lured the girl by asking if she wanted to see the kitten that the family gave to him in March. That is the same cat that the father saw Watkins holding inside of the house with the girl.
The county sheriff told The Gadsen Times that Watkins admitted that he was drunk and that he intended to take the girl with him to get the cat and bring it back to her house.
The sheriff said Watkins had bad judgment and that you can’t take someone else’s child from their property without asking the parents.
Online records show that Watkins is still jailed on a $50,000 bond.
The couple said they are concerned about Watkins because he has an extensive criminal history.
Online records show that since 2010, Watkins was arrested several times for domestic violence, endangering welfare of a child, DUI, and criminal possession of explosives.
The couple said they plan to build a fence.
Please watch your kids, no matter what. Don’t ever let them out of your sight.
Gadsen Times: https://bit.ly/2Z3XiMx
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]