MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A Memphis man is facing a serious charge after police say he tried to kidnap a 3-year-old girl Wednesday night.

Investigators say James Lewis tried to take the child while she was playing with her 6-year-old friend outside her apartment in the 600 block of Avant Lane after 7 p.m.

Investigators said Lewis, a total stranger, grabbed the child’s arm and started pulling her away.

Thankfully, a neighbor saw what was happening and screamed. It was a crucial warning to the girl’s father who ran to her rescue and stopped her from being taken.

Police said the girl’s father held Lewis until officers arrived. Her dad didn’t want to say anything on camera, but he told us it was difficult for him to control his anger.

Carl Johnson knows the child well.

“She’s a sweet little girl. I see her out here playing all the time. When my grandkids come out they all play together,” Johnson said.

The girl’s father said she’s pretty shaken up, but, in the end, he’s grateful she’s in his arms.

Lewis was charged with kidnapping. He is being held on a $50,000 bond and is due in court on April 29.