An 11-year-old girl escaped from her would-be kidnapper in New York on Saturday after a good Samaritan intervened, law enforcement sources told local news outlets.
The girl was walking to a weekend program at a nearby school in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens when a man started following her in his car, according to local media reports. The suspect, whom policed identified to HuffPost as 40-year-old Relyn Estrada, reportedly blocked the girl’s path and tried to force her into his car.
That’s when Alexander Salas, 45, heard the girl screaming and ran outside with a bat to see if she needed help, he told CBS New York.
“This guy, he literally had her sideways, and she’s fighting with him and then he was trying to put her in the car headfirst,” Salas said. “She was kicking to get of out of the car.”
Surveillance video obtained by CBS New York shows Salas shouting and pointing a bat toward Estrada, whom Salas said was also armed with a bat. Salas’ intervention allowed the girl to escape, police told HuffPost.
“He had the bat over her,” a visibly emotional Salas told CBS New York. “It was just nerve-wracking. … No way in the world I was going to let her leave. God knows what he would have done.”
Salas stayed with Estrada and the girl, who was not hurt, until police showed up.
Estrada was arrested and charged with kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, acting in a manner injurious to a child and reckless endangerment, police told HuffPost. He has been arrested 13 times before, according to local media reports.