Attempted abduction at Lakewood park: New bodycam shows what happened as first responding officer arrived

Published: Oct. 23, 2021 at 9:07 PM EDT
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LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WOIO) - A coach and a small group of park-goers thwarted an apparent attempted abduction at Madison Park in Lakewood.

Investigators say Wednesday night, 45-year-old Jeremy McCusker was up to no good when he went to the park, high on meth.

Lakewood police bodycam footage release Saturday morning shows neighbors tackling a man who police said tried to abduct a little boy on the soccer field.

At one point in the surveillance video, five or six men can be seen holding the suspect down, including Lakewood police as they make the arrest.

McCusker was arrested on kidnapping charges.

A witness told 19 News on Wednesday night that the youth soccer coach was able to catch, punch and tackle the man who attempted to grab a soccer player in front of other children, parents and the coach.

The coach and a security guard at the park held the suspect down as a parent called 911.

Then you see a parent jump in to help keep the suspect on the ground.

As the police arrive, four officers at struggle to hold the suspect down and talk to him about what happened.

McCusker appeared in court to answer to the kidnapping charge.

He told the judge that he was high on meth and had stopped taking his prescription medication.

At that time the judge reminded the 45-year-old suspect that he was violating his probation on a domestic violence charge.

Thomas McCusker, brother of the accused, said that Jeremy McCusker struggles with mental health and addiction issues.

“He’s bipolar, schizophrenic,” said Thomas McCusker of his brother. “He had started relapsing in August. We got in contact with the probation officer. We were in contact with Matt Talbert which is like the rehab place, and he was supposed to turn himself in the day before all this happened at the park.

Thomas McCusker says he in no way condones his brother’s actions but hopes that now he can get the help that he desperately needs.

“One bad day doesn’t define your whole life,” he said. “And I know he’s struggling right now with his own guilt of what has happened.”

Jeremy McCusker was transferred to the county jail.

He’s expected to be back in court in the next week.

If convicted of kidnapping a child, McCusker faces 15 years to life in prison.

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