Campus security guard thwarts attempted kidnapping

WENATCHEE, Wash. -- A security guard at Wenatchee Valley College is being hailed as a hero after police say he helped thwart the attempted kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl.

Campus security officer Kevin Edwards said he was making his hourly rounds Saturday when he noticed what he described as a suspicious-looking man. Edwards, 34, kept an eye on the man as the man approached a young girl near the campus library and then put his hands on the girl's shoulders.

"It wasn't until I heard her yell out, 'I don't want to go with you!' that I decided I was going to run in and find out what was going on and try to break this up," Edwards said. "I honestly started trembling. I could hear my heart in my ears."

Edwards, who has been a security guard at the college for about three and a half years, said the girl ran off to tell her parents what happened while he called police and detained the suspect.

Police later arrested John Graff, 43, on suspicion of attempted kidnapping. Graff, who has several prior arrests on his criminal record, is being held on $100,000 bail.

"In our mind he prevented a kidnapping of a small girl," said John Kruse of the Wenatchee Police Department. "(Kevin) did some great work."

The most unexpected of accolades, however, came to Edwards on Wednesday as he was walking through campus. A student there - gray hoodie sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers - came up to him to recognize him for his heroics.

"Thank you," the woman said, as she shook Edwards' hand. "We're very grateful."

Turns out the woman isn't just any student; she is the girl's mother.

"Nobody thinks that if their kid takes a walk there's going to be an issue," said Sunnie Blagg, her voice tinged with emotion, after meeting Edwards for the first time.

"You just take that for granted. You can never take anything anymore for granted in this world. We're just happy this is a happy outcome and that she's home with us."

Edwards, who also helped police solve another crime in 2010 after a burglar ran through campus, said he is humbled by the experience.

"People have called me a hero and what-not. I, myself, don't believe I'm a hero," he said. "I believe I'm just one man in a million who just happened to save a girl because it was the right thing to do."