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HAMMOND — A good Samaritan was presented with an award for bravery Tuesday — weeks after helping police tackle a Matteson, Illinois, man accused of trying to abduct a young girl in an alley.
Patrick Baum, of Hammond, “risked his personal safety to assist an officer in need while he was trying to secure a dangerous individual believed to be involved in multiple child abductions,” the Hammond Police Department stated in a news release on Facebook.
“Mr. Baum’s actions that day helped to avoid a potential tragedy.”
Baum was presented with an award Tuesday for his efforts, police said.
Police: Suspect was attempting to lure kids into vehicle
The suspect, Randol Thomas Palmer Hall, was frothing at the mouth and appeared to be high on a drug June 1 when a Hammond police officer stopped his vehicle because it matched the description of a vehicle involved in two attempted child abductions, according to police spokesman Lt. Steve Kellogg and court records.
At the time, Baum was driving by and saw what was happening, so he stopped and exited his vehicle, according to a police news release.
Baum ran up to the suspect fighting with the Hammond officer and tackled him to the ground, police said. Baum also helped police hold the suspect down until fellow officers arrived and were able to secure Hall in the squad car.
A 16-year-old girl told police Hall approached her at the Withams’ gas station, 2847 165th St., and she asked him to buy her cigars, court records say.
When Hall came out of the gas station, the girl noticed he appeared “messed up” and fell onto a garbage can. The girl told police Hall refused to give her the cigars and asked her to get in his vehicle.
She refused and walked away, court records say.
The girl was walking in an alley in the 2900 block of 165th Street when Hall pulled up in a gray or blue Ford Explorer and asked her to get in his SUV several times, court records state.
She again refused, and he grabbed her jacket, knocked her headphones to the ground and attempted to pull her into the vehicle, court records say. The girl escaped and asked a couple at a nearby home to call police.
Hall remained parked for a couple of minutes, then drove by the girl and the couple. As he drove by the man wrote down Hall’s license plate number on dust covering a vehicle in his garage and his wife gave it to a dispatcher, court records say.
While police were speaking with the 16-year-old, dispatchers broadcast information about a man attempting to lure kids into a vehicle in the 6400 block of New Hampshire Avenue.
An officer responded to the area and noticed an SUV matching the description of the vehicle in both cases parked crooked near Parrish Avenue, court records say. The registration also matched.
The officer pulled up behind the vehicle and activated his lights, court records state, and Hall exited the vehicle. The officer ordered Hall back into the vehicle, but Hall ignored commands and appeared to have a blank expression, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Hall went back to his vehicle and reached down toward the floorboard, so the officer grabbed him and pinned him against the door frame. Hall fought the officer, knocking his body camera off and grabbing for the officer’s gun, records state.
Hall kicked at officers after being placed in a squad car and screamed, “Don’t kill me,” “Kill me” and “Don’t rape me,” the affidavit says.
Hall was charged June 2 with felony counts of disarming a law enforcement officer, attempted criminal confinement and battery against a public safety official and misdemeanor counts of resisting law enforcement and battery.
An attorney for Hall withdrew a motion Monday to reduce his $40,000 bail.
His next hearing in Lake Criminal Court is scheduled for July 30.
Times staff reporter Lauren Cross contributed to this report.