Determined mother fights off man kidnapping her 3-year-old son

WHITE CENTER, Wash. - A determined mother fought off a masked kidnapper who tried to snatch her 3-year-old son as he played in their yard Sunday night, the King County Sheriff's Office says.

The drama unfolded in the 10400 block of 3rd Avenue SW just before 6 p.m. The family had just arrived home from an outing and was preparing to barbecue. The mom, Melissa Hines, was outside and her 3-year-old son was playing nearby.

Suddenly Hines felt someone brush by her and she saw a man run around the back of her house with her child under his arm.

"The guy had him in his hands, and he brushed up kind of behind me, and I saw that he had my son in his arms," she remembers.

She gave chase and the kidnapper tripped and fell, dropping the child. A fight ensued between the mom and the attacker and the mom said she eventually laid on the ground on top of her son to protect him from the man.

The kidnapper kicked and punched the woman repeatedly in the head and body.

"When he kicked me, I lost the wind in me," she said. "I felt like I was kind of going out because I couldn't fight any more, because I fought him for a while. I kicked and punched him."

The man then ran away over the backyard fence.

"We're always telling the kids got to make sure the gates are latched, are closed, and need to stay in the yard, stay in the yard," Hines said. "And this guy was inside our yard, which makes it really scary."

The kidnapper is described as tall and "lanky" and was wearing a black ski mask, black clothing and black gloves. The age or race of the attacker is not known but the mom believes the suspect was a man due to the grunting noises he made during the struggle.

The boy was not injured but the mom received a black eye and bruises from the fight.

A police dog track and search of the area was unsuccessful.

If you have information about this crime you are asked to call the King County Sheriff's Office at 206-296-3311