GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — The screams of an 8-year-old kidnapping victim stopped the crime in progress at the Fairlanes Bowling Alley in Grandville, police said.
Donald Zeigler Jr., 41, was arrested hours after the incident last Friday, in which police say he tried to carry a child out of the bowling alley’s entrance.
Investigators told a judge that Zeigler had conversation with the victim and her family before the incident. They said the suspect is seen on surveillance video fixating on the young girl before making his move.
“When the girl walks away from him and toward the arcade section, Zeigler can be seen craning his neck to continue to watch her walk away and into the arcade,” the an officer wrote in a sworn affidavit to the court.
Police say Zeigler is seen helping the girl put her coat on before he picked her up and walked out of the main doors of the bowling alley and into the foyer around 9:30 p.m.
“He then immediately picks the victim up and is seen on the surveillance video holding her high to one side up near his shoulder,” the affidavit reads. “The victim began yelling for her dad and screaming.”
The victim’s scream caused her father and brother to approach the suspect before he could leave the building entirely.
Zeigler reportedly put the victim down and left the scene after witnesses advised him that they were calling police.
Zeigler was arrested hours later and lodged in the Kent County jail. He was charged Tuesday with kidnapping — enticing a child: a crime that carries a potential sentence of life behind bars.
The judge on the case ordered that he be held without bond as the case moves forward.
The news spread quickly among Fairlanes regulars.
“Just complete shock and I was completely scared,” David Botwinski told News 8. “I bring my 11-year-old every week. Maybe this guy has been here for the last month. He could have been watching my son.”
Court records indicate that Zeigler lives in Belding. His Facebook page lists him as single and states that he worked as a supervisor at a local wood products business.
A search of state records shows that Zeigler has no criminal history.