Cops: Grandma With Bum Knee Stopped Abduction

James Cavallaro allegedly tried to snatch toddler
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 19, 2014 12:50 PM CST
Cops: Grandma With Bum Knee Stopped Abduction
This booking photo from the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, Maine, shows James Cavallaro, arrested after he allegedly tried to grab a 2-year-old at the Maine State Museum on Dec. 16, 2014.   (Uncredited)

The Maine State Museum worker who police say prevented the abduction of a 2-year-old girl is a 65-year-old woman with a bum knee. But Sharon Wise says she was ready for a "big fight" if the alleged assailant hadn't stopped trying to yank the girl through the exit. Wise, of Winthrop, says that James Cavallaro caught her eye because he was acting strangely at the museum on Tuesday. She intervened when he suddenly grabbed the girl while her grandmother's back was turned; she says she looked the man in the eye and told him, "Don't you touch her. You let her go!" Cavallaro, of Bath, left the museum and was quickly arrested, law enforcement officials say. "I did what I had to do, because he wasn't leaving there with her," she tells the AP. "There would've been a fight, a big fight, if he kept yanking her."

Bernard Fishman, director of the Maine State Museum, says the museum holds training on how to deal with a child who's missing. He praises Wise for paying attention to her surroundings and realizing that something was wrong. Wise, a retired teacher who has four grandchildren, says she knows the girl and her grandmother, who are regulars at the museum, and knew something was wrong when the man grabbed the youngster. "You don't touch a kid—you just don't," she says. Cavallaro was out on bail at the time of the museum encounter, authorities say. He remains jailed today, charged with assault and violating his terms of release. The Kennebec Journal reports that he faces charges of aggravated assault, domestic assault, and terrorizing in another case. It's still unknown if he has hired a lawyer. (More Maine stories.)

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