UFC president Dana White led the praise for a high-school wrestler after he was captured on video thwarting a deranged kidnapper at a New Mexico convenience store.
As reported by Las Cruces Sun-News, 16-year-old local wrestling champion Canaan Bower stopped Daniel Arroyo Beltran, 22, after he assaulted several members of public and tried to kidnap three young children.
The following day, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office thanked the teenager for ‘stepping up to save the lives of two children and potentially many others’.
And UFC supremo White, writing on social media, praised the teenager for his courageous act and even hinted that he may link up with the youngster in the future when the coronavirus pandemic blows over.
He tweeted: “Hey Canaan Bower u are AWESOME!!! When this Twilight Zone episode is over i would love to meet u”.
Bower’s father, Troy, said his son was filling up his car with petrol at a nearby gas station when he heard a loud commotion and drove to the scene.
“So my son—who just won the wrestling district championship weeks ago—just came up behind this guy and body-slammed him and got him in a chokehold and waited for the police to show up,” he told Freudenthal.
“I wanted to wring his neck. You fear for your own child’s safety in that situation. You don’t know if this guy’s maybe got a gun or a knife—you don’t know what this guy’s capable of.
“I’m sure other people saw what was going on and didn’t get involved. It’s very terrifying that your child put himself at risk but, at the same time, confident that he would do the right thing and succeed in doing it.
It is believed the offender assaulted a woman and two others who tried to intervene before the mother managed to run inside the convenience store on Thorpe Road with her children.
Beltran has been charged with four counts of battery, two counts of assault, two counts of child abuse and one count of kidnapping after being arrested.