Remain cool. Remain calm.
That was what must have gone through the mind of one heroic bus-driver when he spotted a teary-eyed, toddler and his kidnapper getting on his bus.
The situation was immediately dangerous; any number of things could have gone wrong, and tipping off the kidnapper could have made the situation worse.
Fortunately, this driver not only kept his cool, but he concocted an ingenious plan to save the toddler’s life.
When Tim Watson saw a teary-eyed boy get on his bus—he knew he needed to do something.
On the morning of June 6, 2015, Tim Watson was driving his bus route in Milpitas, CA, when a police alert caught his attention.
According to the alert, a three-year-old child was abducted at the Milpitas Public Library, while he was with his mother. It described the toddler, including what the boy was wearing; a blue shirt, plaid shorts, and red crocs.
Watson noticed the alert but went on with his shift as normal.
That is, until, he noticed two individuals get on his bus.
Watson kept his cool.
As the pair got on the bus, Watson’s eyes were drawn to the boy; he noticed tears in the child’s eyes and the toddler’s distinctive clothing. Upon first glance, it seemed to match that of the description in the alert.
As a father of two children himself, Watson could not ignore the boys fear and sadness.
But he needed to be sure before he took action. He also needed to be discreet—if he tipped off the abductor, the boy’s life would be in great danger, and the abductor might escape.
It was then that Watson came up with an ingenious plan. He stopped the bus and told his passengers that he was looking for a missing green backpack.
“Got out and announced, ‘I’m looking for a green backpack,’” Watson told ABC News. “What I’m really trying to do is get back to the perpetrator to look at the boy with the clothing.”
All was made clear when he saw the red crocs.
So, he began to faux-search the bus for the backpack. When reached where the two were sitting, he checked the seat by them which allowed him to get a closer view of the child.
“I see his red crocs,” Watson said. “That was good enough for me.”
He then went back to the cab and contacted the police. They instructed him to drive as normal to the next stop, Fremont BART.
There, a detachment of officers would be waiting to apprehend the suspect.
When he came to the stop, he made sure to give police plenty of time.
Tim Watson, a Valley Transportation Authority bus driver, had a gut feeling that something was "off" about a man and child on his bus. The reality was something much more terrifying.
“So I open my door slowly, giving them time to get prepped and ready to go,” Watson told the Daily Mail. “I open up door two, the gentleman walks out calm, cool, collected as can be and they take him down on the spot.”
The Milpitas Police physically wrestled the child from the kidnapper’s arms. He was later identified as 23-year-old Alfonso Edington and was arrested and charged with kidnapping. The toddler was also returned to his emotional and thankful parents.
For the part he played, Watson was proclaimed a hero by the Milpitas police. For Watson, though, there was nothing heroic in what he had done.
“This could have been my child that was abducted,” Watson told ABC News. “I feel I did what any father would do.”