Thursday, October 7, 2010

There Are Still Heroes Among Us

Samaritan Hero: God 'Put Me Here' to Rescue Girl

AOL News (Oct. 6) -- The California man who helped rescue an 8-year-old girl abducted outside her Fresno home says he is grateful he was able to intervene, but doesn't feel he did anything out of the ordinary.

"I thank God that he put me here to help out that little girl, that's for sure," Victor Perez, the man police are now hailing as a "good Samaritan" and "hero," told KFSN-TV.

The girl was abducted in front of her Fresno home Monday night, just minutes after police had received a report about a man, believed to be the suspected kidnapper, exposing himself to two other children in the same area, according to news reports. A statewide Amber Alert was issued after the abduction.

Perez, a 29-year-old local grape picker and father of two who had decided not to go to work because of inclement weather, had heard the Amber Alert and spotted a suspect vehicle around 7 a.m. Tuesday.

"I thought, That could be the truck," Perez told CNN.

Perez did not initially see the girl inside the vehicle, but decided to pursue it and eventually saw the child stick her head up.

"I kept telling him, 'That's not your little girl,'" Perez said. "We argued. We exchanged words."

Perez said it took him several attempts to cut off the suspect vehicle, but when he finally managed to block it, the suspect, Gregorio Gonzalez, 24, pushed the child out of the vehicle.

"When she was dropped off, I just stayed with her, and the guy took off again," Perez said during an appearance on CBS's "The Early Show" today. "I didn't give chase no more 'cause the little girl was safe. So the cops took over after that."

Perez added, "She said like twice, 'I'm scared, I'm scared.' And she asked me if she was going to be OK. I said you're OK for now, and [we're] just waiting for the right people to get there to help her out."

The girl told police she had been threatened and sexually assaulted. She was taken to Community Regional Medical Center, where she was treated and reunited with her mother.

Less than an hour after the rescue, the California Highway Patrol arrested Gonzalez behind a nearby apartment complex. He is being charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and false imprisonment.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer told "The Early Show" that Perez is a hero whose intervention probably saved the girl's life.

Sponsored Links"We know that the longer a victim who has been abducted is with the assailant, the more likelihood is that we're not going to be able to recover them alive," Dyer said. "So Victor's a hero, and rightfully so, he's being recognized."

Perez, however, is modest about his involvement in the ordeal and thanks a higher power for placing him in the right place at the right time.

"I just felt like I was doing my part. ... .I just felt like everybody should step up in their own communities and when something like this happens, come together and try to do your part to help out," Perez said. "And, you know, I just thank that God I was put in the right situation to do what I did. Thank the man above for that."

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