An observant graduate student who halted a potential abduction at a North Carolina diner will be showered with free breakfast for a year as a reward for his actions.
Cody Byrd, a 24-year-old student at North Carolina A&T State University, confronted the suspected would-be kidnapper at a Greensboro Biscuitville in late December – thwarting the possible abduction of an 8-year-old girl, police said.
While chowing down on a chicken biscuit and hash browns the morning of Dec. 27, Byrd noticed something suspicious, PEOPLE.com reported. Another man appeared to be staring unusually at a young girl eating at a different table with her family – which Byrd said made him uneasy.
“I just had a weird feeling about it,” Byrd told PEOPLE. “And I saw something potentially dangerous.”
The person in question allegedly prowled after the 8-year-old girl outside the restaurant’s bathrooms, according to an incident report obtained by Oxygen.com. The man – who police later identified as Timothy Jon Fry – allegedly tried pouncing on the 8-year-old while she was trying to use the restroom, according to Byrd.
“He lunged at her, trying to grab her,” Byrd said. “She let out a little yelp and she dodged him and ran off back to her mom. I asked him, ‘What are you doing? Do you know her?’”
Fry then became “nervous” and made a cryptic statement about “trying to send a message” to the child, Byrd said.
Police said Byrd then trailed the 55-year-old man to the restaurant's parking lot where Fry fled in a vehicle. However, the Good Samaritan took pictures of the man and quickly alerted authorities.
“Truthfully, the way that he acted was it was quick, and it was very helpful in helping police locate this particular gentleman,” Ronald Glenn, a spokesperson for the Greensboro Police Department, told Oxygen.com.
“When the young lady came out of the restroom, Timothy Jon Fry attempted to grab the young lady, and this gentleman confronted him right there in that space, told him to leave the young lady alone,” Glenn continued.
Glenn, who said Byrd was “very descriptive” in his call to emergency dispatchers, called the student a hero.
“First and foremost, his actions prevented a situation that could have been much worse,” he said. “It’s a hope that everybody in the community is that aware and that willing to help. The fact that he was willing to step up and do that is tremendous.”
The police spokesperson said the victim and her family are still “processing” the alleged attempted kidnapping but confirmed that no one was injured in the incident.
“Physically, it seems everyone’s doing fine and that’s the thing we’re happy about,” Glenn explained.
The computer science student, who reportedly works two jobs while he’s earning his degree, said Biscuitville has since rewarded him with free breakfast meals for the next year.
“You know these types of things happen,” Byrd told PEOPLE. “You see them in [the] media. But you never think that you might actually be in one of those situations. I just tried to do what was right."
Biscuitville, a regional southern-style chain restaurant that first opened in the 1970s, has 57 locations across North Carolina and Virginia, according to the company’s website.
Fry is being held on a $300,000 bond at a Guilford County jail, police said. It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.
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