A Valley Transportation Authority bus driver in San Francisco was hailed as a hero in 2015 when his actions led to the rescue of a kidnapped boy and the arrest of the kidnapper. Tim Watson was responsible for the safe return. A 3-year-old had been reported missing from in front of a local library. One of the distinguishing factors of the boy was that he was wearing red Crocs.
Later, a young boy and a man who both matched the description of the missing boy and suspected kidnapper boarded the bus. Watson noticed the pair, but did not make any distinct connections to the report. It wasn’t until Watson looked at the boy and noticed he was crying that he began to realize that something was amiss. However, he needed confirmation that these were the people mentioned in the report before taking any action.
Thinking quickly, Watson pulled the bus to the side of the road and claimed that there was a missing backpack that had been reported on the bus.
He himself began to look for the backpack and asked the passengers to help him look. As he went through the bus, he got closer to the man and the boy and saw that the boy was indeed wearing red Crocs on his feet. This was the confirmation he needed to covertly get the police involved. They were waiting at the station when the bus arrived.
The boy was safely removed from the clutches of the 23-year-old kidnapper upon arrival at the bus station. The suspect was arrested, and the child escaped any harm. Watson was amazed to learn that he had indeed been instrumental in preventing the kidnapper from getting away with a potentially heinous crime. “This could have been my child that was abducted… I feel I did what any father would do.” By following his instincts, Watson was able to save that little boy.