One fast-acting woman used her wits to rescue a girl from the clutches of a terrifying kidnapper.
12-year-old Amy Martinez of Los Angeles was on her way to Lathrop Intermediate School when a woman grabbed her out of nowhere and started dragging her down the street, telling the girl to keep quiet.
The young girl recalled to NBC Los Angeles that she feared the worst.
“I thought I wouldn’t see my mom or my dad again. She was saying that the demons are coming, Satan is here”– Amy Martinez
Despite Martinez screaming at the woman to let go of her, her assailant wouldn’t stop.
That’s when police say Martinez’s angel on wheels appeared. The woman — who wished to remain anonymous — was driving back from dropping her kids off at school when she noticed the girl struggling with the suspect.
She remembered the girl’s terrified look clearly.
“I’ll never forget the way she looked at me. Her eyes were screaming for help”– Anonymous hero
There was not much time to act.
“She said she had, in her mind, five seconds to come up with something to save this child,” said police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
That’s when the woman made a brilliantly brave move. She circled back, stopped her car and asked the girl if she was okay. When she shook her head no, the woman said to the suspect ‘That’s my child, give her back to me.’ After three attempts, the suspect released the girl.
The good samaritan then drove Martinez safely to school and called the police.
Police ultimately arrested the suspect, identified as 34-year-old Claudia Hernandez Diazon on suspicion of kidnapping a child under the age of 14.
Community is family
When asked about her rescuer, Martinez was nothing but grateful.
“I want to say thank you for saving my life, and you’re my hero”– Amy Martinez
Meanwhile, her mother, shaken from the scare, said that from now on a relative will be driving her little girl to school everyday.
Cpl. Bertagna says that the anonymous woman truly walked the talk when it came to protecting her community.
“We always say if you see something say something. Well, she saw something and did something,” he said.
It’s reported that every 40 seconds in the United States, a child either goes missing or is abducted. Another study reports that 38 percent of attempted abductions occurred while a child walks to or from school.
While we can’t watch our kids 24/7, we can keep an eye on our community like we do our own family, just like this woman did. We would not just avoid tragedy but create a safer, happier world.
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