Churchgoers have been praised for saving two young girls from being abducted after one of the kids mouthed "help me."
The two victims, both under the age of 12, were allegedly targeted by David Daniels after they left a restaurant in Tampa, Florida, USA.
Daniels approached the pair and told them he would "supervise" them while they strolled home on Sunday night (June 12).
The creepy encounter escalated after the 37-year-old repeatedly hit one of the girls over the head and continued to follow them, it is claimed.
It has been reported that the girls quickly hopped on their bikes and headed towards a nearby church to call for help.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Daniels allegedly followed the girls into the place of worship and claimed he was their father.
Concerned eyewitnesses said he put one of the girls in a headlock, reports Fox13.
One woman said: “One of the little girls was mouthing to me, ‘Please help me, this is not my dad.
“He was kind of talking over her, right behind her, putting his arm around her neck and saying something in her ear, saying, ‘We just moved here, we just want to see how we can help do whatever you’re doing.'"
The quick-thinking worshippers managed to keep him distracted until they were able to alert cops.
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The woman who kept him engaged in conversation, added: "I don't want any recognition for this," said the woman.
"I don't want to be a hero. I just did what I hope anybody would do for my own kids."
He was taken into custody and charged with child abuse and false imprisonment of a child, police said.
Daniels is currently being held at the Hillsborough County Jail on an £84,099.53 bond.
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