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Brave Sanitation Workers Intercept Kidnapper To Save 10-Year-Old Girl's Life
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Everyday Heroes

Brave Sanitation Workers Intercept Kidnapper To Save 10-Year-Old Girl's Life

Two Louisiana sanitation workers are being called heroes for rescuing a young girl and making sure her abductor couldn't escape.

An amber alert

According to ABC News, 10-year-old Jalisa Lasalle had gone missing for an hour on Sunday and New Iberia police believed she was in "imminent danger." So, they issued an Amber alert in the middle of the night that indicated Lasalle was last seen getting into a 2012 Nissan Altima.


On Monday morning, Pelican Waste & Debris sanitation workers Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine happened to come across that same vehicle parked in the middle of a field. They knew something was up.

"Something told me," Merrick said in a video posted to Facebook Live. "I said, what's that car doing off in the field like that?"

They blocked the suspect in

After spotting the vehicle, the two men acted straight away. They pulled their car up in front of the suspect's vehicle, making sure he couldn't escape.

"I blocked the truck in, [making] sure he couldn’t get out," Merrick said.

"I just saved that little girl's life bro... they got him now."

Merrick added that he felt particularly worried for Lasalle as he has a daughter of his own.

"People act like they see stuff but they don't want to say nothing," he said to the camera. "But she's safe now. Thank God man, because I got a little girl. I'm on my job doing what I got to do."

Credited for their heroism

The two men's boss, Pelican CEO Roddie Matherne, thanked his employees and pointed out how hard sanitation workers have been working during the pandemic.

"We couldn’t be prouder of Dion and Brandon," Matherne said in an email to ABC News. "In fact, All of our Pelican Waste team have been heroically working without fail during the pandemic quietly, professionally, and consistently serving the communities where we collect garbage & debris. They often respond in other ways while on the road. This was an exceptional thing that may very well have saved a little girl’s [life]."

Suspect in custody

As for the suspect, his name is Michael Sereal, 33, and he was charged with aggravated kidnapping of a child and failure to register as a sex offender (he'd been convicted in 2016 for carnal knowledge of a juvenile, meaning he was over 18 and had sexual relations with someone between 13 and 17, with their consent).

Louisiana State Police said on Facebook that medical personnel evaluated the girl as soon as she was rescued.

Anyone can be a hero

These two sanitation workers just proved why Amber alerts exist. Sure, police can do their best to search for a suspect, but they need the help of the public in instances like these.

In other words, you don't need a badge to be a hero.

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