Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A father has been charged with kidnapping after he confronted a student who was bullying his 8-year-old son. It all happened just steps from an elementary school. Now his family is fighting those charges.
Meghan McCorkell spoke with them.
Donald Shields is behind bars, charged with kidnapping. Family members say he was just trying to take his son’s bully back to school so he could be identified by school staff.
Donald Shields, 33, has been accused of kidnapping after police say he chased down his son’s bully and locked him inside his car.
“It’s very unbelievable that he would even be accused of doing the things he’s doing,” said Tia Drakes, Shields’ fiancee.
Drakes says the story isn’t true. She says Shields saw three boys beating his 8-year-old son bloody outside Yorkwood Elementary. The kids ran but a block away, Shields saw one of the bullies, told him to get in the car and took him back to school.
“He just thought he was doing the right thing. He thought he was taking a child back to the safe haven that was the school,” Drakes said.
But the victim says Shields nearly hit him with his car, then locked him inside.
In charging documents obtained by WJZ’s media partner, the Baltimore Sun, the victim says Shields cursed at him, saying, “Don’t [expletive] with my son,” then telling the boy to “get his [expletive] out of his car.”
Parents at the school say they are surprised by the incident, especially since the school has a strict anti-bullying policy.
“I’m shocked, actually, because she’s been here since pre-K and we’ve never had no problems. None,” said parent Diane Waters.
The sign even announces Bully Prevention Month.
Drakes says her fiance is a good father who would never kidnap a child.
“It’s hard. It’s hard to know that they’re accusing him of these things and he’s not that type of person,” she said.
Now she wants him free.
Drakes says at the time, one of the teachers thanked him for bringing the child back to school. Some teachers have even written character letters to a judge on Shields’ behalf.
Shields is charged with kidnapping, second-degree assault and false imprisonment. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 11.