FRESNO (CBS 5/AP) – Police credit an alert driver for helping rescue an an 8-year-old girl who was abducted while playing outside a Fresno home Monday night.
Police say the driver, Victor Perez, spotted a truck that matched the police description of the kidnapper’s and began following it. When he saw the girl’s head in the window, he cut the truck off and the girl bolted.
“I was yelling but I kept cutting him off so he’ll get off the road. At first it was just like a simple question, I need to talk to you. And he goes, ‘no my truck’ s messing up, I need to leave’. So I said ‘ok’. I didn’t see no little girl until the second time I cut him off and the little girl stuck her head out and that’s when I said ok, that ain’t your little girl right there, cause he was hiding her like pushing her down,” recalled Perez.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the child told investigators that 24-year-old Gregorio Gonzalez had taken the girl to a wooded area near a canal and sexually assaulted her.
Gonzalez is a member of the Bulldog street gang, according to police. They have not released a motive for the random attack. Gonzalez was arrested a short time after the incident by the California Highway Patrol.
“I thank God that he put me to help out that little girl, that’s for sure,” Perez said Tuesday. “I got kids out there and nephews and nieces and I wouldn’t want nobody to do this to my family.”
(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)