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Armed Mom Saves 5-Year-Old Son From Kidnappers On Des Moines Skywalk

Des Moines, IA – A brave mother saved her son from kidnappers on the Des Moines Skywalk earlier this month by pulling out her legally-owned weapon and using it to defend herself and her child.

The incident occurred on Jan. 5 when Shay Lindberg, the manager of the Hubble Tower Apartments, observed a man and a woman who were walking back and forth in front of the apartment building’s front door, according to KDSM.

Lindberg had her five-year-old son by her side when she opened the front door of the apartment building to ask the pair if there was a problem.

Police said that was when one of the couple reached in and grabbed the apartment manager’s little boy by the arm, according to KDSM.

Lindberg, who was carrying a legally-owned weapon on her at the time, used the gun to rescue her child from the grips of his would-be kidnappers.

Police said the apartment manager pointed the weapon at the couple and told them to release her child.

Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek told KDSM that the mother’s actions were a good example of someone possessing a gun legally and using the weapon in the right way.

“It certainly looks like the big turning point here, the pivotal piece to keeping her child safe was the fact that she was lawfully-armed with a handgun, and she produced it and told them ‘let go of my kid,’” Sgt. Parizek said.

Lindberg told police she immediately called Will Hunter of Per Mar Security Services, the company responsible for the Skywalk’s security and told him what had happened, KDSM reported.

Per Mar Security has supervised security on the Skywalk since 2020, after a couple was assaulted by group of teens on the walkway.

She said Hunter immediately recognized who the suspects were based on the descriptions the furious mother provided, KDSM reported.

He knew who 43-year-old Michael Ernest Ross and 57-year-old Laurie Lynn Potter were and he had their names in his records as having previously been a problem in the Des Moines Skywalk.

Hunter found the suspects on the Des Moines Skywalk and followed Ross and Potter until police arrived on the scene and took them into custody, KDSM reported.

Porter and Ross were arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail, according to county records.

Both of the suspects were charged with child stealing, KDSM reported.

Potter was out on probation at the time of her arrest and she has also been charged with two counts of violating her probation.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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