FRESNO (CBS/AP/BCN) – Police say an 8-year-old girl who was abducted while playing outside a Fresno home was sexually assaulted before managing to escape her captor.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the child told investigators that 24-year-old Gregorio Gonzalez took her to a wooded area near a canal and sexually assaulted her after kidnapping her Monday night.

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 after after a Good Samaritan cut off his vehicle in traffic Tuesday morning.  Gonzalez allegedly stopped his truck and pushed out the girl after the driver recognized his vehicle – apparently having seen surveillance footage of the suspect’s truck released by police – and followed it until he spotted the child inside.

Gonzalez was arrested a short time later by the California Highway Patrol.

A statewide Amber Alert was issued overnight the girl. At a news conference Tuesday morning, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the girl was frightened and traumatized, but otherwise OK.

“We beat the odds today,” Dyer said. “Because in many cases we don’t find the child alive.”

The girl was was taken to Community Regional Medical Center for evaluation as a precaution.

“I got to tell you, it was the highlight of my career seeing (her) and her mom reunite in that hospital room,” Dyer said.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m. Monday, a man in a pickup truck pulled up in front of an apartment complex at 2751 E. Hammond Ave. near a group of children who were playing.

The man approached another 6-year-old girl and the 8-year-old, who started to walk with the man as the younger girl walked away, police said.

Witnesses yelled at the children to get away from the man, who then grabbed the 8-year-old and pushed her into the truck’s cab.

The girl’s mother hopped into a car and tried to chase the truck- a late 70s or early 80s Ford or Chevy pickup truck with a distinctive 6-inch white horizontal stripe on its sides – but lost track of it, police said.

Minutes before the girl was abducted, Fresno police received a call about a separate incident in which a man matching the suspect’s description dropped his pants and exposed himself to two other young girls. Investigators are looking into whether the man in custody is connected to that case.

The FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children both assisted in the statewide search.

Fresno police Tuesday morning searched isolated and secluded areas, including nearby hotels, motels, bus depots, train stations, schools and parks. A door-to-door search was carried out in the immediate area of the abduction.

During the news conference, Dyer thanked the city of Fresno and the media for their help in bringing the girl home.

“I think all of us tonight can pat ourselves on the back and be thankful that (she) is alive and well and we have the suspect in custody,” Dyer said.

Fresno police have now taken over the investigation.

Anyone with more information about the case should call the Fresno Police Department at (559) 621-7000.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (20)
  1. ron says:

    i am happy to know she is safe and be able to be with love ones.

  2. K Kemp says:

    I hope they beat the hell out of that sick pig when they catch him. There is no reason for trial or incarceration, we should just put a bullet right in his temple. It makes me even more disgusted to think that my tax dollars will pay to keep that vermin alive, he’s probbaly here illegaly anyhow.

    1. Stephen McDonald says:

      Amen to your comment.

      Except for the last part about being here illegally. That is nothing short of an ignorant redneck statement.

    2. Joyce says:

      You are 100% correct. I’m sick and tired of paying to keep these people alive while their victims suffer for the rest of their lives or even die at the hands of these kind of people. My tax dollars should be put to better use. Look at the Polly Klass guy, still alive and breathing each and every day. Just not fair. When children are involved it’s automatic death and should have the same week, not 25+ years later, if at all.

    3. whathappened says:

      You are more than 10 thousand percent right

    1. Melissa in NorCal says:

      Why? He still let her get kidnapped and raped. Thank the guy who cut off this pervert!

      1. Lataria says:

        No, He (God) didn’t let her get kidnapped and raped. We are to quick to blame God for all mishappens. This is the work of the enemy (satan). I was praying for this girl this morning on my way to work and 30 minutes later, someone told me that she was found. The person who told me was also praying. God will avenge this child and there is no worse avengence than to suffer the wrath of Jesus Christ.

  3. HB says:

    I agree with you K Kemp, I hope they beat the hell out of him, and castrate that animal. I am so sick and tired of these preditors getting away with $%^&*. He’ll probably do a year, or less and be released to do his nasty acts again. I pray that he didn’t have a chance to molest that poor little girl. God please let her be ok.

  4. D. Risas says:

    Wow really? Because of course he’s an immigrant, right? If you paid attention to the news you would know he’s Caucasian genius.

    This is disgusting. I can’t imagine what that poor family is going through. My heart goes out to her and her loved ones

  5. Stupified says:

    Wow really? A caucasian male cant be an illegal immigrant?

    1. Me says:

      Dear Stupid,
      All rednecks think all brown people are illegal, The internet has been a blessing to the rednecks spreading their vile views. that said I am glad the Perp is in custody and the little girl is safe

  6. Locked & Loaded says:

    I am very glad the little girl is fine. Thanks to the local citizens and police agencies to locate the girl. If this happens to my child, I would H&K the suspect myself and save the tax-payer the money.

  7. CJ says:

    Thank God *was found!!!! She truly had an angel looking out for her.

    I hope they release the name of the good samaritan! I want to send him a gift!

  8. john baptiste says:


    Glad to hear she’s safe, now! I also particularly like the officer stating that the reunion with her mother was “the highlight of his career”! Not all cops or all people look and act the same!

  9. jimbe says:

    Sicko…from gangster to child molesting. In China and middle east …this guy is sure going to die

  10. jimmy says:

    Apply the middle east law : cut his head off !!!
    that way the parents of the poor little girl won’t suffer any more .Justice served.

  11. David Dionisio says:

    child abuse is condemn by our Lord Jesus, who said “it is better for the abuser to hang a big stone on his neck and cast him to the sea” its heinous, and deserved death sentence to vanish those who commit crimes against innocent children

  12. ed says:

    cut off both heads brothers and father too! and display downtown, or parade these types on the front of a float dressed in Pink girlie clothes and drive him straight to prison to share a cell with bubba for the rest of his life … “wake up boy its time for your mouth! bubba is 6′ 10” …………..guess he came out of the closet and got his wish!

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