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Police identify man arrested in Lakewood after allegedly picking up playing child, attempting to run off with him

Lakewood police said in a press release that a group of bystanders stopped the man and restrained him.

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — The Lakewood Police Department has arrested a man who allegedly picked up a child at Madison Park and attempted to run off with him. 

Jeremy McCusker, 45, is in the Lakewood Jail, on $250,000 bond. He’s charged with kidnapping, a first degree felony.

According to officials, the incident began around 6 p.m. on Wednesday when police were called to Madison Park for reports of a male, acting suspiciously, and possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Around this time, several calls came in from people at the park, one of which reported that the man had left the premises, while another later said he had returned.

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That's when police say the man approached a group of kids at soccer practice, picked up one of the juveniles, and attempted to run off with him. 

Lakewood police say thanks to the quick actions of the coach and a Madison Park on-duty security guard, the boy got away to safety. The pair pinned McCusker to the ground, until police arrived and took him into custody.

Police arrested McCusker, who was immediately taken to a local hospital for medical evaluation. His next court appearance has not yet been scheduled. 

No children were hurt and the matter remains under investigation by police. 

Meanwhile the Lakewood Football Club sent this message out to its families, saying in part:

"We are evaluating the use of Madison Park in the short and long term. L-U-F-C will not tolerate a play and practice environment that compromises the safety of players, coaches, and families."

Madison Park was the scene of two shootings this spring, including one in April that left a teen hospitalized after he was shot on the basketball court. Lakewood police stress this was an isolated incident.


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Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a previously published, unrelated story.