WESTBROOK — Many times over the course of a month, Elaina Young saw Steven Morrill approach a 5-year-old girl who was waiting for her school bus, talk to her and walk away.

Then, one day, he took her by the hand and she started walking with him.

Young, 29, ran after the two and hollered at the man to let her go.

“I think I just knew it wasn’t right,” Young said Monday night, when her intervention was recognized by the Westbrook Police Department and City Council.

Morrill, 53, of Chestnut Street, was arrested on Feb. 18 and charged with two felonies — attempted kidnapping and criminal restraint — and misdemeanor assault.

He’s being held at Cumberland County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court May 19.

Morrill’s criminal history, which dates to the 1970s, includes sexual abuse of a minor and furnishing liquor to a minor. In 2004, he was convicted of arson and sentenced to a year and two months in prison.

“Ms. Young’s action likely saved the girl’s life,” said Michael Pardue, Westbrook’s director of public safety.

Young, who brought her 6-year-old daughter to the council meeting Monday, said she doesn’t consider her actions heroic — “just a motherly instinct.”

Young received a certificate in recognition of “her actions as an outstanding citizen,” Pardue said.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at: [email protected]