A normal day became every parent’s worst nightmare when a kidnapper attempted to abduct two young children during broad daylight.
It all began when a mother and her three children were waiting for an Uber outside of Chuck’s Gas Station in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The mom noticed a suspicious man staring at them as they waited. Moments later, the would-be kidnapper grabbed one of her children.
A brief scuffle ensued before the family raced back inside the gas station with the man charging after them. That’s when a student athlete stepped in to save the day.
Canaan Bower, a 16-year-old wrestler, saw the commotion and didn’t hesitate to help. Using his wrestling expertise, Canaan dropped the suspect to the floor and pinned him until authorities arrived. While it felt like a lifetime to Canaan, the entire incident took fewer than 5 minutes.
Canaan admitted that he was concerned that the kidnapper could be armed with a knife or firearm, but that his instinct to protect others outweighed his need for self-preservation.
He was later recognized as a hero by UFC president Dana White and mixed-martial arts champions Henry Cejudo and Jorge Masvidal, and earned the title of USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week.