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Parents wrestle with sex offender after he tries to run off with kids at park, sheriff says

Parents wrestle with sex offender after he tries to run off with kids at park, sheriff says
Marcus DeWitt, 29, is a registered sex offender, according to Riverside County sheriff's officials. (Riverside County Sheriff's Department)

A registered sex offender tried to run off with two children playing in a Lake Elsinore park Monday, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Marcus DeWitt, 29, was at the Rosetta Canyon Sports Park about 11:30 a.m. when he made his first attempt to abduct a child, the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. First, he tried grabbing a 3-year-old boy by the arm, but the boy was partially inside a playground structure and DeWitt let go, authorities said.

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Soon after, DeWitt picked up a 4-year-old boy and ran off with him, officials said. When parents at the park saw DeWitt running away, they chased him.

“The victim’s parents and other family members observed the abduction, and were able to catch DeWitt and wrestle the child out of his grasp,” the news release said.

DeWitt tried to escape, but one of the boy’s parents caught him, and others joined in to hold the man until Lake Elsinore police arrived.

Neither child was injured, authorities said.

DeWitt was booked at the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center on suspicion of kidnapping and is being held in lieu of $1-million bail, according to inmate records.

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