A bystander wielding a baseball bat may have saved the life of a two-year-old girl who was being severely beaten by her own father at a Vancouver, Washington, motel, authorities report.
Sunnyside Motel tenant Don Gilbert said that he heard a commotion outside his room and grabbed a baseball bat before running outside to find out what was going on.
It was then he allegedly witnessed a crazed man severely beating a small toddler and moved to intervene to stop the beating.
According to ABC News, officials report that 32-year-old Kyle Holder, a guest at the motel, became enraged and began the abuse of the child by throwing her out the window of the rented room.
He then went outside, grabbed her by the feet and slammed her onto the concrete parking lot. He also kicked her in the head several times, police report.
The Good Samaritan then ran toward the attacker and moved to stop the vicious attack on the child.
“I hit him once in the back,” Gilbert told ABC, “he had the baby by the feet. (He) took her to the curb and just slammed her down. And that’s when I cracked him in the skull three or four times.”
The attacker was still in such an agitated state when police finally arrived, they had to taser him to subdue him. He later appeared in court in a suicide-prevention vest.
According to court documents, at one point during his arraignment, Holder said he “had” to attempt to kill his daughter. “I did not want to kill her, but I had to. I had to hold my daughter and crush her head so she could go up to the sky,” he said.
The suspect’s aunt told KOIN TV that he was raving recently in a call to his mother.
“He felt like the devil was trying to attack him from within,” Shelia Jones said from her home in Georgia. “That he needed her to pray for him and they prayed for a long time.”
But family members also said that in the past Holder doted on the child and seemed to love her very much.
Gilbert told the media that police had already been called on the man for “acting strangely” earlier in the day. Of Holder, Gilbert said, “he was just babbling about God’s coming for everybody and he’s got to get the evil out of the daughter.”
Still, the protective motel visitor said he is no hero. “The question is, why wouldn’t somebody do this?” Gilbert told KPTV. “I mean, the more time people take to care less about themselves and more about innocent people, you wouldn’t have the crap that’s going on in the world that we do now.”
Holder is in jail charged with attempted murder and is held on a $1 million bail.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.