East Chicago man charged with broad daylight kidnapping in Calumet City

CALUMET CITY, Ill. (WLS) -- An Indiana man has been indicted on federal kidnapping charges for a broad daylight kidnapping in Calumet City in December, prosecutors said.

The FBI released surveillance video they said shows the incident along with the charges, and noted the date and time on the video are incorrect.

Prosecutors said Bryan Protho, 38, of East Chicago, grabbed a 10-year-old girl as she walked on the sidewalk near 153rd Street and Burnham Avenue at about 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 20. Investigators said the girl was on her way home from school.

Prosecutors said Protho forced the child into his car and drove away.

"I couldn't believe that it was my home that was on there, like, I couldn't believe it," said Kamilah Dew, who owns the home seen in the surveillance video.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim told investigators she tried to get away but Protho struck her in the face multiple times and covered her mouth when she tried to scream. Prosecutors said he parked his vehicle in the alley and assaulted the child. The victim was able to escape and flag down a passing car. They then called the police.

"It's pretty, like, surprising and kind of puts fear into the people, this happening in broad daylight too and a lot of people coming home from school," said Roberto Gonzalez, who lives nearby.

Protho was arrested on Dec. 27. He is charged with one count of kidnapping. He is next due in court on Feb. 20.

Federal kidnapping charges come with a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a maximum sentence of life.

The FBI is investigating if the vehicle in the surveillance video may be connected to any other crimes. If you have any information regarding the vehicle and/or individual seen in the video below on this date or any dates prior, please contact the FBI Chicago Field Office at (312) 421-6700 or chicago@fbi.gov
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