‘Let Go Of My Kid!’: Armed Mother Put The Kibosh On Kidnapping

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A couple attempted to abduct a child, and they may have succeeded if it wasn’t for the youngster’s mother. Thankfully, the mom had the means to thwart the kidnapping, and authorities have since acknowledged “the pivotal piece to keeping her child safe.”

Shay Lindberg
Shay Lindberg, the manager at the Hubbell Tower Apartments, was working in the skywalk system when a couple attempted to kidnap her child. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Shay Lindberg, the manager at the Hubbell Tower Apartments in Des Moines, Iowa, was working in the skywalk system with her young son by her side when she and her child experienced a moment of sheer terror. After a couple was spotted repeatedly walking in front of the apartment entrance, Lindberg finally opened the door, asking if there was a problem, and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Although the skywalk may be nearly empty much of the time, the doors are open from morning to night, and this can create a problem. That’s why security guards with Per Mar Security were hired by the Skywalk Association in 2020 — after a couple was assaulted by a group of teens as they were out on a dinner date — to keep the public space a peaceful one, but it’s not always easy.

Shay Lindberg
When Shay Lindberg opened the door to confront the couple, they grabbed her son. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

“Everyone’s welcome to be here,” Per Mar Security guard Will Hunter explained. “This is a public space, and I respect that,” he said. “We do have the shelter down here and you have a lot of mental illness in the homeless community,” Hunter continued, adding, “that’s just a sad fact.”

This is a sad fact that Shay Lindberg probably knew all too well when she confronted the couple — later identified as Michael Ernest Ross, 43, and Laurie Lynn Potter, 57 — on that fateful Thursday after the duo was seen lurking around the door of the apartment building. With her son by her side, Lindberg opened the door to question the pair.

Per Mar Security guard Will Hunter (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

That’s when one of the suspects attempted to snatch the child, but Lindberg wasn’t having it. A struggle ensued, but the mother, who was packing heat, had the great equalizer on her side. Seeing that the woman was armed, the couple abandoned the kidnapping attempt. Very quickly, Ross and Potter fled, but they wouldn’t get far.

Instead, Shay Lindberg was able to call Will Hunter and give him a description of the menacing pair, who he recognized right away. “It took Shay [Lindberg] about three sentences to describe [the female suspect] and I’m like, ‘That’s Laurie, she’s been around, hanging around,'” Hunter recalled. He was familiar with Laurie Potter since Per Mar Security takes the names of all those who cause problems in the skywalk.

Michael Ernest Ross, 43, and Laurie Lynn Potter, 57 (Photo Credit: Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

Hunter called the police and gave the suspects’ names, but then he followed the pair until the police could take over. Potter and Ross were soon arrested and charged with felony child stealing, according to Polk County Jail records. According to The Blaze, Potter was already on probation and charged with two counts of violating her probation.

“To have that security guard there in that spot at that moment was probably the most critical piece to this because he was able to keep an eye on both of these people as they made their way through the skywalk, down to a restaurant, and onto a bus,” Sergeant Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police Department told KDSM-TV.

Sergeant Parizek also recognized the importance of Shay Lindberg being armed when it came to the outcome of this attempted kidnapping. “It certainly looks like the big turning point here, the pivotal piece to keeping her child safe was the fact that she was lawfully armed with a handgun,” Parizek explained, adding, “she produced it and told them, ‘Let go of my kid.'”

Indeed, this is just one of many “good guy with a gun” stories, even though this one is actually a “good gal with a gun.” Either way, the end result was the same — an armed, law-abiding citizen put the kibosh on a kidnapping attempt, innocent people were kept free from harm, and those intending harm were thrown behind bars where they belong. I don’t know about you, but I love a story with a happy ending — and that’s what you tend to get when a legal gun owner is able to protect their loved ones when danger rears its ugly head.