San Diego Little League Coach Stops Attempted Kidnapping

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A San Diego Little League coach intervened when a man attempted to kidnap a 7-year-old player after practice.

Coach Scott Hedenkamp said he spotted a man pacing back and forth along the fence line during practice last month at Robb Field.

When practice was over on Feb. 20, the man approached the team and told Hedenkamp the boy he had been watching was his son.

"That's my son, that's my boy," he reportedly told the little boy, "Come on, it's time to go home."

Hedenkamp didn’t even realize it wasn’t the boy’s father.

"The kid tells me, 'That's not my dad, I don't know this man,' and he started crying hysterically," Hedenkamp recalled.

That’s when he stepped in between the man and the player.

Hedenkamp told the man to get off the field and an assistant coach called 911.

Police identified the man as 28-year-old Jerrod West. He was charged with attempted kidnapping and resisting arrest.

San Diego parents praised the coach for saving the boy.

"He stepped right in. He did what he was supposed to do," Vicky McElyea told KGTV. "When something like that happens, you never know how you're going to react and he reacted the right way."

"I think it's kind of just one of those things that just kicks in instinctually and naturally,” Hedenkamp said, “and I would like to think that anyone that's coaching a little league team or a basketball team or anything for that matter would do the same thing that I did.”

West pleaded not guilty during his Feb. 25 arraignment. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Sources: NBC San Diego, KGTV