OLD ORCHARD BEACH — A Saco man who is accused of trying to abduct a 3-year-old boy while the child’s parents watched was arraigned Wednesday in District Court, police said.

Eric Auger, 37, of 24 Norman St. in Saco snatched the boy as he played Tuesday afternoon in a grassy area near the Pine Grove Cabins and Vacancy Pub at 17 Ocean Park Road, said Deputy Police Chief Keith Babin.

The boy’s parents were sitting at a picnic table in front of their cabin when they noticed a man standing near the road, as if he were waiting for a bus, Babin said.

The parents were suspicious of the man, they later told police, because he kept looking at their son.

Suddenly, the man walked over to the boy, grabbed him and ran away, carrying the boy, Babin said.

The boy’s father ran after the man, caught up to him and pulled the boy away, sending him running back to his mother, Babin said.

The father confronted the man and tried to restrain him, but the man ran away. The parents called police and described the incident and the man.

A police officer in a patrol car saw a man who fit the description given by the parents walking on Ocean Park Road in Saco, toward Route 1.

The officer stopped the man, interviewed him briefly and arrested him, Babin said.

Auger was arraigned Wednesday in York District Court on a charge of criminal restraint. He was held in the York County Jail on $500 bail.

Criminal restraint is a felony that carries a jail sentence of three to five years, Babin said.

Auger has been arrested several times, on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to drunken driving, but he has no history of sexual offenses, Babin said.

The boy and his parents were upset but not injured, Babin said. The family is from Texas but is living in the area.

Babin said the parents were wise to take notice of the man and fortunate to be able to stop him.

“If they had gone into the cabin for a minute to make a phone call or something, the outcome might have been very different,” Babin said. “Keep a close eye on your children, especially when unknown people are around.”

 

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

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