Police arrested Robby Wildt, 40, after he allegedly grabbed the girl and put her in his car. He has been charged with kidnapping a minor.
Neighbours who witnessed the ordeal gave police a detailed description of the kidnapper and the vehicle along with a partial license plate number, according to a police spokesperson.
The girl was quickly returned to her family after police intercepted the vehicle. The incident took place on 2 July.
According to the police, officers responded immediately after the reports from neighbours were filed and managed to intercept Mr Wildt within 30 minutes.
Louisville police sergeant Joe Keeling found the vehicle and forced the Mr Wildt to stop. He held Mr Wildt there until his backup arrived.
While Mr Keeling was securing Mr Wildt, Officer Jason Burba rescued the girl from the alleged kidnapper’s vehicle.
“You just can’t get there fast enough,” Mr Burba said in a statement to local broadcaster WDRB . “Seconds feel like hours. Your only thought is getting there as fast as you can.”
In body camera footage of the arrest, the little girl can be heard crying and saying “I want my daddy”.
According to local broadcaster WLKY , Mr Wildt admitted to the police that “he saw the victim playing outside near the street, circled the block and then took her from the side of the road”.
He also told police that “he felt bad for doing what he had done”.
Louisville police spokesman Aaron Ellis issued a statement following the event in which he said that strangers kidnapping children is rare, but not unheard of.
“This is a rare situation, stranger kidnapping. More commonly we see custodial issues as kidnappings. Although we do not want the community to be alarmed, this is certainly an educational opportunity for parents to remind their children that ‘stranger danger’ is real,” he said. “It is important to talk to your kids about any adult who tries to use a ruse to lure them to their vehicles or away from public view.”