Sports

Former player for Vikings, Notre Dame helps thwart carjacking at day care

Robert Blanton of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the start of NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 19, 2014, in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

 EDINA, Minnesota (WCCO) — A quick-thinking mother and a good Samaritan thwarted off would-be carjackers in this Minneapolis suburb.

“Attacking a parent at pickup from preschool is one of the more vulnerable we have in our community,” Robert Blanton said.

Blanton runs Kiddie Academy in Edina with his wife, Erin. He played for the Minnesota Vikings from 2012 to 2015 and Notre Dame from 2008 to 2011.

Edina Police say a woman was confronted around 4 p.m. Wednesday by two men outside Kiddie Academy. One of the men demanded her keys to which she complied. Police say the woman then grabbed her purse and ran toward the locked entrance of the facility.

Blanton was inside with his daughter at the time. He could see the woman struggling with the carjacker.

“I just bolted out the door,” Blanton said.

When Blanton got outside, the suspect ran and jumped into a vehicle where the other carjacker was waiting.

“I was trying to pull him out and slam the door on his leg,” Blanton said.

From outdoor surveillance, you can hear Blanton yelling at the men to get out of the vehicle. Blanton says they tried running him over until he had to let go. The suspects drove away.

The suspect vehicle had been taken during a carjacking earlier in the day in Richfield. It was found abandoned later in St. Louis Park. No weapons were involved and no one was hurt in the incident.

Blanton said he does not think of himself as a hero. He praised the woman for running for help.

“Definitely not a hero,” he said. “I think the mom is a hero for fighting back and standing up for herself and allowing time to come and help her.”

Police are still searching for the people responsible. If you have any information call Edina Police. They remind residents to be aware of their surroundings and give up your belongings if threatened to do so.

The suspects got away in a Chevrolet Traverse sport utility vehicle with Minnesota license plates NLV852. If you have any information, please call 911.