Police credit mother’s use of the Second Amendment to thwart her son’s abduction

The protective power of the Second Amendment was demonstrated yet again by an Iowa mom whose quick thinking and preparedness saved her own son from child abduction.

(Video: WHO13)

In downtown Des Moines, Iowa, 55 buildings are connected by more than four miles of elevated and enclosed passages known as the Skywalk, meant to allow the public safe travels away from traffic and the elements. However, on January 5, that safety was threatened when two suspects allegedly tried to snatch Shay Lindberg’s son outside the apartment where she works.

According to a report from WHO13, Lindberg, the manager of the Hubbell Tower Apartments, was accompanied by her son when she witnessed two individuals, later identified as 43-year-old Michael Ernest Ross and 57-year-old Laurie Lynn Potter, repeatedly walk by the door leading her to open it and ask if there was some sort of problem. At that point, one of the suspects was said to have grabbed the boy, and a struggle ensued, then the mother drew her handgun and demanded his release.

“It certainly looks like the big turning point here that was the pivotal piece to keeping her child safe was the fact that she was lawfully armed with a handgun,” Des Moines Police Department Sergeant Paul Parizek told the outlet, “and she produced it and told them, you know, ‘let go of my kid.'”

Without firing a shot, Lindberg had taken control of the situation and the suspects proceeded to walk away. It was then that the mother reached out to Per Mar Security, the organization tasked with monitoring the Skywalk and spoke with security guard Will Hunter.

“It took Shay about three sentences of description,” Hunter told WHO. “I was like, ‘that’s Laurie. She’s been, you know, around, hanging around.'”

The outlet detailed that Per Mar Security policy includes keeping a record of those who’ve previously caused problems in the public space.

“Everyone’s welcome to be here, this is a public space and I respect that,” the security guard expressed. “Everybody’s welcome on the Skywalk. If everybody’s following the rules, you are not gonna be bothered by security because it is a public space.”

Hunter also noted that “We do have the shelter down here and you have a lot of mental illness in the homeless community and that’s just a sad fact.”

After contacting law enforcement, the security guard said he followed the suspects until police took them into custody. A motive for Ross and Potter’s alleged crime was not stated and the two were charged with felony Child Stealing. Potter was also charged with two counts of violating her probation.

Though considered generally safe, Per Mar Security has been contracted with the Skywalk Association since 2020 following a late 2019 incident where a group of teens had reportedly assaulted a young man walking with his girlfriend. The security firm also maintains contact with Central Iowa Shelter & Services (C.I.S.S.) and Bethel Mission which work to support those in need.


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Kevin Haggerty


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