Accused kidnapping suspect used to work with students - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Accused kidnapping suspect used to work with students

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The man accused of trying to kidnap a seven-year-old boy at a Midtown restaurant Friday night has regularly worked with students, and had almost no previous trouble with the law.

Brian Williamson is in the Shelby County Jail on more than $150,000 bond, after a bizarre set of circumstances inside Molly's La Casita Restaurant late Friday evening. Williamson is charged with charged with kidnapping, accused of grabbing a seven-year-old boy and trying to leave with him through the restaurant's back door.

According to an affidavit of complaint, the boy had just gone to the restroom by himself, and as he exited the restroom, Williamson grabbed him then tried to leave with him.

One witness told police she watched as Williamson "grabbed the juvenile victim and exited the rear of the business with the juvenile victim, who was holding on to the door frame screaming for help."

The boy managed to escape Williamson's grip, ran to his parents "crying and screaming" and told them "what happened," that a "stranger...grabbed him."

By this time, Williamson had already returned to his seat at the bar.

As the boy's parents called 911, witnesses said, Williamson tried to leave, but friends of the boy's family trapped him inside by blocking all the entrances and exits until Memphis Police arrived.

Williamson used to be a teacher.  Northwest Mississippi Community College confirms he was the director of its Cardiovascular Technology Program from 2001 through 2006.  Northwest officials say they cannot specify the reason Williamson is no longer employed there, whether he was fired or left on his own.

In late March 2009, Williamson began working as a substitute teacher at Millington High School.  Shelby County School officials said  he did not finish the school year and his contract was not renewed.  While the school system could not specify, a spokesperson said Williamson's contract was not renewed for standard Human Resources reasons - not for any questionable behavior.  Before his hiring, Williamson passed all required background checks having no prior criminal record.

Williamson was also an employee at Remington College for four months in 2007.  School officials would not clarify in what capacity or the circumstances of his departure.

Before the kidnapping charge, Williamson's only previous criminal charge was from this year: a June misdemeanor citation for driving with a license that expired in February and a tag that expired in February 2007.

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