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Tacoma police issue Amber Alert for duct-taped boy, grandfather calls 911 to explain

TACOMA, Wash. - Police in Tacoma thought a 10-year-old boy was abducted Monday afternoon when they saw a video of a man duct taping the boy's hands and legs and putting him in a car before driving off. 

It happened near a Tacoma elementary school. Some kids who were playing on the playground across the street noticed what was happening, started recording video of it, and called the police. 

When officers saw the video, they were so concerned for the boy's safety that they issued a statewide Amber Alert. 

After the alert was broadcast, police say the man in the video recognized himself on TV and called 911 to say that he was the boy's grandfather. 

He says his grandson has special needs, and he wouldn't stop running into the street so he used the duct tape to restrain him. 

“I don't want to criticize anybody. I understand that when you're dealing with a child that's out of control, you want their safety and well-being at the forefront. But this is not an appropriate way to restrain a child,” said Loretta Cool with the Tacoma Police Department. 
The boy was found safe at home with his family. 

Police said he had been dropped off at his bus stop where his grandfather came to pick him up.

Police say it appears the 10-year-old was not injured, but they do plan to interview everyone involved and say it is possible the grandfather could face charges. 

As for the Amber Alert, police say the large response was the appropriate action given the limited amount of information they had at the time.


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