At “Rosetta Canyon Sports Park” in Lake Elsinore, visitors are keeping a closer eye on their children after police say a man attempted to abduct two young boys from the playground around 11:30 Monday morning.
Kelly Wicher says, “We’re here for football practice, and it makes me nervous letting my kids go play and going to the bathroom alone and…”
Photos from riversidecountynewssource.org show the aftermath.
Police say the children’s families reported 29-year-old Marcus Dewitt grabbed a three-year-old boy by the arm but couldn’t reach him.
That’s when they say Dewitt tried again picking up a four-year-old boy and attempting to take off running.
Myles Sanchez says, “If I saw someone trying to abduct a child, I would tackle him and pin him down.”
Witnesses say that’s what happened.
They went after Dewitt, wrestled the child from his hands, and held him down until police arrived and took him into custody.
Neither child was hurt during the incident, but Dewitt is a registered sex offender.
Wicher says, “That bothers me that he’s even in our neighborhood and that he can have access to kids so easily.”
Marcus Dewitt’s family says the charge stems from an indecent exposure incident.
His mom and dad told me exclusively that Marcus suffers from Schizophrenia, exasperated by drug use from his teenage years.
Stephen Dewitt says, “…And I don’t want to make a story of excuses for our son, by any means. The difficulty as parents, for my wife and I, dealing with mental health, and so on… Is always the greatest fear we have is what happened today.”
Stephen and Lucy Dewitt say they’re shocked.
They’ve struggled to care for their son’s mental illness, but say this has left them speechless.
Stephen Dewitt says, “Because I feel for the family. My wife and I honestly will pray for the family, the children, for their recovery, that no memory of this will be in theirs.”