A Hamilton man has been charged in connection with an incident Monday afternoon at the Crawford Woods splash pad.
A warrant for child endangering and abduction has been issued by Hamilton police for Donald Casey, 32, of Parkamo Avenue.
The child endangering charge is for Casey’s conduct and actions regarding his own daughter, who he grabbed and then ran with from the park, according to police.
The abduction charge relates to the first child he picked up, apparently by mistake.
“This occurred when he picked up another person’s daughter and carried her across the splash pad against her will,” said Hamilton Police Sgt. Brian Robinson.
Casey was not in police custody as of Thursday afternoon.
Robinson said the department encourages residents to contact them when they see something they believe is suspicious, and he praised one of the parents at the splash pad for recording Casey with her cellphone when she noticed his erratic behavior.
“We understand the video is frightening to watch and elicits an emotional response from many. We are very appreciative of the video. The video enabled us to observe what happened, identify the parties involved, and investigate the incident to determine what actually occurred,” Robinson said.
“He clearly took off with a little girl … into the woods,” Tekoia Cephas said in the video she posted live on Facebook.
The man, who is seen in the video kneeling just outside the gate to the splash pad while children play, unsteadily gets up on his feet, gathers some items, yells at some children, and then picks up a little girl and starts to run.
The man is then seen putting that child down, picking up another child and running into the woods.
Police were called, and one officer and several firefighters responded to the park.
Detectives continued to investigate, which led to identification of the man and the charges against Casey.