We’ve all grown to know and love Lonnie Chavis, aka the adorable child actor who plays young Randall on the hit show This Is Us. But before he graced the small screen, the now nine-year-old was nearly kidnapped in Long Beach, NY right outside his own home.

The local news covered the story at the time of the incident, April of last year. While Lonnie was walking to take out the trash, two masked kidnappers approached him and he began to run for his life.

lonnie chavis

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“They pushed me on the ground, and the one that pushed me on the ground said, ‘Stay down,’ and the other one said, ‘Get up,'” he said to ABC7 Eyewitness News. Lonnie’s parents grew worried after he didn’t return to the house and they eventually called the police to report that their son had gone missing.

But it was all thanks to a good Samaritan that the soon-to-be-famous actor returned safely to his home. “I was in the garden doing some gardening and I heard the sound of a child sobbing coming from up the street,” said Diana Hershey, a woman who lived more than half a mile away from Lonnie.  “Then he started running toward me just sobbing and looking like he was ready to fall down.”

Well, things have certainly changed for Lonnie! These days, fans everywhere are anxiously awaiting the return of This Is Us, which started filming back in July and is set to premiere Sept. 26.

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