Man accused of trying to kidnap child at bowling alley

Posted at 4:39 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 16:40:08-05

GRANDVILLE, Mich.  — A man was arrested over the weekend for allegedly trying to kidnap a child at a Grandville bowling alley.

It happened around 9:38 p.m. at Fairlanes Bowling located at 3335 Fairlanes Ave. in Grandville.

Police say 41-year-old Donald Zeigler tried to pick up an 8-year-old girl and carry her outside the building but put her down and ran away when he was confronted.

Court documents allege Zeigler had been in a conversation with the child and her father beforehand. The documents also say police watched surveillance footage that showed Zeigler helping the girl with her coat and backpack.

Police say the girl walked away from him into the arcade section of the bowling alley, where he followed her, helped her put her coat and backpack on and then picked her up and started walking toward the exit.

Documents say the girl was screaming for her dad, drawing the attention of others, leading to someone asking Zeigler if the 8-year-old was his child. The father caught up to them at the door and threatened to call police, which was when Zeigler allegedly fled the scene.

It’s unclear if Zeigler, a resident of Belding, knew the child or not.

Neighbors say Zeigler has lived in the same area of Belding for at least three years. One neighbor told FOX 17 he has never caused an ounce of trouble.

“I am very surprised,” said neighbor Amy Knapp. “He always has seemed like an easy going kind of person. He’s never been abrupt or rude with me. I have two little dogs. He is very friendly with them. I would have never guessed anything like this.

Knapp says she saw police at Zeigler’s home on Friday. Later in the weekend, neighbors told her they saw police carrying out a boxes during a search of his home. Belding or Grandville police have not yet confirmed with FOX 17 if they did conduct a search or the details surrounding the search warrant.

“To think that it could have been a child, I have small nephews and nieces,” said Knapp. “That’s really unnerving.”

“To know that it’s this type of situation, it’s sickening,” added Knapp. “It’s a shame. I didn’t expect that kind of thing.

Zeigler was officially arraigned on a kidnapping charge.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Grandville police at 616-538-6110 and select option 2.