By wrestling a suspect and pinning him to the ground until police arrived, a teen wrestling champion prevented the kidnapping of three children. Then, when it was most needed, he decided to do the right thing.
The incident happened when a mother and her three children, ages nine, two, and one, waited for their Uber outside Chuck’s Gas Station in New Mexico. A strange man suddenly came to grab her two-year-old child and requested that she hand over her other children.
The mother rushed her children into the gas station’s store after struggling with the man. He was subsequently identified as Daniel Arroyo Beltran.
Despite many staff members and passersby rushing to the woman’s help, the suspect pursued the family and made his way into the business.
When the suspect shamefully tried to kidnap the young children, Canaan Bower, a student-athlete from Mayfield High School, observed that disturbance.
Bower was then seen entering the store and found the suspect attempting to break into the storage area where the family had taken refuge.
Beltran, who stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 155lbs, was no match for the 6-foot-2, 285-pound high school wrestler who had just won the District 3-5A heavyweight championship and went on to participate in the state competition.
Beltran was grabbed and held to the ground by Bower’s wrestling skills.
The teenage athlete did not hesitate to keep the family safe though he expressed concern that the man was carrying any weapons, such as a knife or a gun.
“Canaan is too nice to hurt people, any people,” Bower’s mother said of her son on her social media post. “Canaan clarified that the man was much smaller than him, he just grabbed him and took him to the floor like he does in wrestling and held him down until the cops got there.”
According to the Daily Mail, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office hailed Canaan Bower “for stepping up to save the lives of two children and potentially many others” by pinning Beltran.
One count of kidnapping, four charges of battery, two counts of assault, and two counts of child abuse were filed against Beltran.
Bower was hailed a hero. Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and mixed-martial-arts champions Henry Cejudo and Jorge Masvidal all congratulated him, ParentingIsn’tEasy reported.
Bower was named the USA Wrestling Athlete of the week the following April. They praised him and his incredible courage in their statement.
However, the young athlete said knowing that the family was together and safe made him proud.
“When someone needs help you should always help them … always be the one to do something about it,” he said.