The drama unfolded Saturday at about 5 p.m. at Lincoln Park when the suspect tried to snatch the 2-year-old from a slide in the playground area, says Loretta Cool of the Tacoma police.
The man grabbed the boy's arm, but older children in the boy's family who were there intervened and kept a tight hold on the boy so that the suspect could not take him.
"The suspect appeared to be crazy and was trying to take any small child that was available in the park," Cool said. "Other children that he approached were removed from the area by their parents before the police could arrive."
The suspect then attempted to take the 2-year-old again, but another man who happened to be there at the park intervened until police could arrive. The suspect was then taken into custody.
Cool said the man was "extremely uncooperative."
"He didn't identify himself, he appeared to be high," she said.
The suspect was booked into Pierce County Jail and later charged with second-degree kidnapping and two counts of fourth-degree assault. He was later identified through his fingerprints as Leroy Freimouth.
In court later Monday, a judge ordered Freimouth held on $500,000 bail and not to have contact with kids, schools or playgrounds.
Meanwhile, police praised the actions of the other children who thwarted the kidnapping attempt.
"Younger and older kids alike, all with the same family," Cool said. "They did a really good job being quick and making it clear that this suspect was not welcome around any of the children."
She said the incident is a good reminder to parents not to let down their guard even when enjoying themselves at the park with their kids.
"Fortunately this family was close and they were watching, and they were able to intervene immediately and stop what could have been much worse," she said.