This weekend, things could have taken a tragic turned if not for the quick thinking of football legend Joe Montana and his wife. Montana and his wife Jennifer were relaxing in their Malibu home as their 9-month-old infant grandchild slumbered safely in another room. They were unaware that danger was just about to walk through the front door.
Montana Tussles with the Kidnapper
The Associated Press reports what happened this weekend; “According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Montana told deputies that his grandchild was sleeping in a playpen on Saturday when an unknown woman entered their home in Malibu and grabbed the child. Montana and his wife, Jennifer, confronted the woman, whom authorities later identified as Sodsai Dalzell, tried to ‘de-escalate the situation’ and asked her to give back their grandchild.”
However, Dalzell was not going to give up easily. Montana reports that his wife was forced to wrestle the baby away from the would-be kidnapper.
AP reports, “The sheriff’s office says that Dalzell fled the home but was later arrested. She faces kidnapping and burglary charges.”
The Montana Family Began in 1985
Joe and Jennifer married in 1985. The former star quarterback for the 49ers met his future wife while filming a commercial. Yahoo! Life shares the couple’s origin story; “Jennifer Wallace (now Montana), was an up-and-coming actress and model in California. She had shot a number of commercials in the past, but being focused on her career, she never thought of her co-stars as potential love interests. Wallace was totally unaware of Joe’s football successes at the time. Growing up, her family had some serious football fans, but Joe Montana was never on her radar. She was just happy to finally work with someone as tall as her. ‘I didn’t know who he was. It was my agent who told me you’re going to be working with Joe Montana. I said ‘Who’s Joe Montana?’’ Jennifer recalls.
Jennifer found Joe completely charming, despite, or perhaps because of, his shyness. She knew she would have to figure out a way to make him more comfortable to successfully get through two days of shooting. Wallace figured she’d pinch him to loosen him up.”
It took a few false starts for Joe to get up the courage to ask her out, but the rest was history. Almost. After dating for 6 months, Montana knew it was time to make it forever. Y! shares, “After getting the check while on a dinner date, Joe wrote a question on the check for Jennifer: ‘What would you say if I asked you to spend the rest of your life with me?’ The grand gesture didn’t go as planned. Jennifer didn’t have a yes or no answer, as she had never even considered marriage so soon in their relationship. Joe responded, ‘I didn’t get a no, so it’s OK.’
Take 2: Joe hires a plane to carry his message across the sky.
While the two were out to dinner one night, Montana hired a plane to carry the message ‘Jen, will you marry me?’ This time Wallace said yes.”
Family is Everything to the Montanas
They have been married ever since and share four children together. AOL reports, “In 2015, Jennifer opened up about how family is ‘everything’ to the duo. ‘I think it’s a question of what’s important,’ she told San Francisco-based CBS affiliate KPIX at the time. ‘You make a list of things you need to do and sometimes it gets squashed… one phone call from the kids [is all it takes].’
Joe, for his part, spoke to Mercury News in 2016 about how he’s enjoyed watching his two sons follow in his footsteps by playing football. ‘It’s a lot of fun, to a certain degree,’ he previously said. ‘The other part can be heart-wrenching at times. I know exactly what their emotions are, whether they’re up or down, and that makes it tough.'”
Joe Thanks People for Their Support
In the wake of the attempted kidnapping, Joe reached out to thank people for the support his family has received. The football legend took to social media, sharing on Twitter, “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.”
It has not been released whose child the grandchild is. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has declined to release any more information and calls the investigation, “ongoing.” We at CELEB want to congratulate Joe and Jennifer for their quick thinking and send well wishes that everyone recovers from what must have been a harrowing experience. It’s due solely to Joe and Jennifer that everyone is safe today.