Legendary former NFL quarterback Joe Montana has lived up to his nickname “Joe Cool” after he helped foil an attempted kidnapping of his baby grandchild at his California home, authorities said Sunday.
The 64-year-old Hall of Famer told cops that his 9-month-old grandchild was sleeping in a playpen in the living room of his Malibu home when a woman, later identified by authorities as Sodsai Dalzell, slipped into the house and grabbed the baby just before 5pm. Saturday, officials said.
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Dalzell, who reported snuck into the home through an unlocked door, carried the baby upstairs to where Montana and his wife Jennifer were, authorities said.
The retired San Francisco 49ers star — who earned his nickname for keeping cool under pressure on the football field — and his wife tried to “de-escalate the situation and asked for the suspect to give back their grandchild,’’ according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
“A tussle ensued, and Mrs. Montana was able to safely pry the child out of the suspect’s arms’’ before Dalzell fled,” the agency said.
Joe Montana then ran out of the home and flagged down sheriff’s deputies who were in the area on an unrelated matter and told them what happened, authorities said.
Dalzell, who had fled to a nearby home, was soon captured and arrested, officials said.
She has been charged with kidnapping and burglary and is being held on $150,00 bail, authorities and reports said.
Joe Montana — who retired in 1994 after leading the 49ers to four Super Bowl wins — later wrote in a brief statement on Instagram, “Thank you to everyone who has reached out.
“Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well. We appreciate respect for our privacy at this time.”
He and his wife, who married in 1985, have four adult children.
The couple founded a charity named The Four Rings Foundation after their two sons and two daughters — and his four Super Bowl rings.
It raises money through the sales of Jennifer’s jewellery line for needy families in the Bay area.
This story first appeared in the New York Post and was republished with permission.