A Stranger Saves Young Girls From Alleged Beach Predator
Angie Thoman's motherly instincts kicked in when she saw a man behaving suspiciously around two little girls at Sydney's busy Cronulla beach on Friday afternoon.
Thoman told 10 News First she spotted the man swimming near one of the girls and alleges she saw him try and "scoop her up", just metres from her grandparents.
Thoman was on high alert, after a man approached her own little girl last summer, at the very same beach.
"I knew he was up to no good," she said.
"I quickly got out of the water and I raced right up to the tower and I told the life guards."
The mum-of-four said the on-duty lifeguards observed the man for several minutes before swooping in and removing him from the water.
It was there, in the middle of packed beachgoers, that police arrived a short time later and arrested him.
The 60-year-old was taken to a nearby police station where he was interviewed and later charged with intentionally sexually touching two young girls, aged eight and 10.
He was granted bail and will appear in court in February next year, with police telling media the 60-year-old had been issued a number of conditions on where he can go and who he can communicate with.
Those strict conditions include a ban from returning to Cronulla or any other area where there are children.
Ford praised Thoman and lifeguards for their swift response in locating and detaining the man.
Chief Inspector Gary Ford said the incident was a warning for parents to always keep an eye on the whereabouts of their children, especially during the busy summer period. Both girls were in close proximity to their carers.
However, Ford said it was an unusual and rare incident for the area.
"It's the first I'm aware of it," he said.
Thoman said it was a reminder that everyone in the community needed to work together to keep children safe.
"Your gut instincts will tell you when something isn't right," she said.
"At the end of the day this is just one incident of many that can occur."
On Saturday police said the two alleged victims were doing well.
Featured Image: 10 News First