Police said that as the man walked around the crowd with the girls in his arms, her parents were alerted, fearing that he was attempting to kidnap the child.
A good Samaritan who tried to help a little girl find her father was mistaken for a kidnapper, beaten, and smeared on Facebook.
But the dad tells WFLA all he saw was a odd man walking towards the parking lot with his daughter.
A man that police say was being a Good Samaritan this weekend when he found a child roaming around a Central Florida park got quite the surprise from the child's father - a beating.
Apparently, the men mistakenly believed the man was kidnapping the girl, although he told police that he does not want to press charges against any of his assailants.
After the attack, the dad and several others took to social media, naming the citizen, posting photos of him and his family and making derogatory comments.
"This guy is a father, a local businessman, he has two children, was trying to help this child, and they turned it completely around, and that's not right", Sgt. Gary Gross with the Lakeland Police Department tells a Tampa TV station.
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The people who watched the man walk around with the girl thought he was planning to kidnap her.
"When I got there I just swung on him", the father said.
According to The Washington Post, the man has since left the Florida town of Lakeland with his family, fearing for their safety and his own.
Three men, including the child's father, then attacked the Good Samaritan, punching him several times. As they passed men along the way he asked her if they were her father.
A Good Samaritan, who was at the complex with a Polk Sherriff's Office deputy, found the wandering toddler but she couldn't tell him where her parents were. "I wanted to kill him", he told WFLA. Police say people should be careful what to post on social media because inaccurate posts could victimize innocent people. "However, this incident truly involved a good Samaritan trying to assist a lost child finding their parents", the police report read.
Only one person called the police department "to get the correct information", the police said.
'Posting false information on Facebook could cause a defamation of character claim and those posting false information could be held libel, ' the Lakeland Police Department wrote on its Facebook page. Not willing to let the little girl run off alone, the man picked her up and continued toward the playground, still searching for her father.