Former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque helped detain a 24-year-old man after he allegedly attempted to kidnap a young girl at Jeanne-Mance Park in Montreal.
The seven-year-old girl was at the park with her parents when a man approached her and started talking to her, reported CBCNews Montreal. In broad daylight, the man grabbed her and started walking away with her, but was quickly wrestled to the ground by the girl’s father.
“I ended up standing in front of him because I didn’t want him to go anywhere,” said Laraque who stands at six-foot-three and weighs 260 pounds.
A witness, Nicole Legault, at the time of the aborted abduction said that she heard a woman screaming. “She was obviously very upset,” Legault said. Moreover, she observed the mother telling those around her that the man tried to kidnap her child.
Laraque, a 14-year NHL veteran and currently a commentator for TVA Sports, played in a celebrity baseball game at a nearby field when he heard screams and ran over to investigate.
Not known as a pacifist, Laraque, who spent 1,126 minutes in the penalty box, said, “I just wanted to make sure that if he got up that I was going to tackle him right away.”
Julien Harvey, who organized the celebrity baseball game, said it happened late in the game and one of his staffers called 911. A group of around 30 people hovered around the suspect and the family until the police arrived.
“I have twins and this could happen to anyone,” Laraque remarked. “We’ve heard stories of a child being abducted and to see [something] like that — it’s pretty scary.”
The former right-wing played from 1996 to 2010 in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Montreal Canadiens.