On Saturday afternoon, Breanna Harden’s children were taking out the trash from their Hollywood, Florida, apartment when they were approached by their neighbor, 65-year-old George Rudolph Pratt, known to them as “Mr. George.”
Mr George handed water to the two youngest children and after they ran off, he grabbed the oldest child, a 13-year-old boy, by the back of his jacket and attempted to drag him into his apartment. Another neighbor, Chris, witnessed the incident and intervened, asking Mr Pratt for a beer. Pratt released the boy and all three of them went inside Pratt’s apartment. Once inside, Chris looked in the fridge and when he turned around, Mr George had pulled a gun. Chris grabbed Pratt’s hand, and yelled for the teen to run! Chris wrestled the gun away and then ran out behind the boy and called 911.
Neighbors don't believe the charges against Mr George. “I really think that its a misunderstanding and he didn’t really mean any harm, not saying the victim is telling any tales, I just think it was harmless. We’ve known him for 20 years and he has never been a threat.” Added a second neighbor: “He’s been around young children all the time, never been touchy, feely, rapey, nothing, so its like why all of a sudden now? No one knows him for that.”
Police responded to the incident and arrested Pratt, charging him with battery and armed kidnapping and holding him on a $76-thousand bond. On Monday, Pembroke Park Police tweeted about the incident and reminded parents to “maintain awareness of your surroundings and keep your children safe.” They then added that the victim “was saved by a neighbor who totally disregarded his own safety to save the child.”
Chris didn't want his full name to be used, said "I was shocked to see Mr George grab the boy that way. I've never seen him act that way. That's why I thought there might be something wrong and wanted to hang around and make sure everything was ok. When he pulled the gun on me I damn well knew things weren't OK. I have no idea what Mr George is going through but I'm glad I was able to keep that kid out of whatever it was".