BC woman uses MMA training to thwart multiple kidnappings

Chelsi Sabbe speaks to reporters following her encounter with a kidnapper in Prince George, B.C.
Chelsi Sabbe speaks to reporters following her encounter with a kidnapper in Prince George, B.C.

A Prince George, B.C., woman says her mixed-martial arts training helped her fight off a man who attempted to abduct children at a local park.

The scary incident occurred Tuesday morning when a man approached two children at a playground. Chelsi Sabbe, who owns and operates the Tiny Treasures Licensed Daycare, sprung into action when the man grabbed a 4-year-old boy and tried to run off with him.

Sabbe chased him down, jumped on his back and took him to the ground with a chokehold. While she was moving the child to safety, the man then grabbed a 4-year-old boy.

“I side-sweeped him, hit him in the throat and knocked his feet out from underneath of him,” Sabbe told CKPG TV .

But it didn’t end there.

According to CKPG TV, after moving that boy high atop the play centre with five other children, Sabbe once again had to fight off the man, identified as 35-year-old Kenneth Jim John, who then attempted to grab a 6-year-old girl.

Sabbe said the man began punching her in the head, but she managed to knock him off the playground equipment before jumping down and putting him in a headlock while yelling for the children to run for safety.

“He again jumps up and punches me several times in the head and we go at it,” Sabbe told CKPG TV. “This time it kind of turned nasty. I had to grab him by the hair and knee him in the face a few times and then he ran away.”

“I had no choice but to hurt him and get him to the ground.”

Sabbe, who left the man bloodied and bruised, said her father began teaching her MMA techniques at a young age. She suffered bruises on her arm and neck along with swollen knuckles.

Prior to the incident at the playground, John allegedly tried to grab a child who was with his mother at another park a few blocks away. He was arrested shortly after his encounter with Sabbe and has been charged with two counts of kidnapping, assault and obstructing a peace officer, according to CKPG TV.

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