PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 7-year-old was found safe after he was kidnapped outside his apartment complex in Tigard on Wednesday evening, police said.
While the child was playing outside near SW Hunziker Road, James Harman II reportedly grabbed him around 6:30 p.m.
Tigard police said Harman took the child to his own apartment and locked the boy inside.
Ashley Scott says she’s lived in the apartment next to Harman for nearly a year and about a month ago chatted with him frequently – until, she said, he started exhibiting manic behavior.
Scott says she saw the boy playing on the playground in front of her apartment– steps from the child’s apartment.
“Then like 15, 20 minutes later that’s when the incident happened,” Scott said.
When she looked outside again, she saw Harman walking with the boy and realized something wasn’t right.
“We see him walking with the little boy down the hill, then he walks him back, then he comes in and takes him into his house,” Scott explained.
Police say neighbors who realized the boy was in danger sprang into action.
The boy’s mother and neighbors chased after them and banged on the door. When the door was knocked down, the 56-year-old allegedly ran out the door with the boy before officials say he let the child go.
“He just kinda let him out and like let his hand go,” Scott said.
Scott described the moment the child was safe in his mother’s arms, saying “she was crying, and when she was crying and weeping you could hear him weeping when they finally met arms together.”
Scott added “she would not let him go, she had him, she made sure she had her baby.”
Tigard police say they found evidence in Harman’s apartment that he was going to hurt the child.
Harman was arrested for first-degree kidnapping and will remain in jail awaiting arraignment.