Police identified the suspect as Robert Kloer, who allegedly came up to the children and tried taking eight-year-old Axel Pacheco.
“Some guy came and said “Do you have a football?”” Pacheco said. “He grabbed me…and I was trying to pull back.”
Pacheco’s three-year-old sister, his friend Jose Rodriguez and Jose’s eleven-year-old sister Celina Rodriguez were there when the stranger appeared.
Jose Rodriguez said he started pulling Pacheco back towards him and they both fell down. Celina Rodriguez grabbed Pacheco's younger sister and moved away from the stranger. She used her cell phone to call her parents.
“I hid [the phone] while he (Kloer) still had the little boy's hand and I ran to the back and called my mom and dad to come out,” said Celina. “I thought I was going to lose all those kids and it was going to be my fault.”
The call got her parents outside and Kloer started leaving. Police later arrested the stranger after a 911 call. He is now in South Salt Lake jail and faces charges of attempted child kidnapping.
Despite Kloer’s arrest, Celina’s mother Janna Whisenhunt is still worried about her daughter because Kloer threatened to kill her.
“She didn’t sleep good at all last night,” Whisenhunt said.
Celina said police came to her school and taught her to beware of strangers. And now, they regard her as a hero.
“No I don't think I am,” Celina said. “I think I'm just doing my job.”