ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A mother whose 4-year-old was being abducted chased the suspect down and crashed her vehicle into his car, triggering a manhunt and the arrest of the suspect, police said.
The young girl was playing in her yard in Albuquerque Wednesday evening when a group of teenagers saw a man pull up in a silver Buick and force the child into his car. The teens ran to alert the girl’s mother.
While the family called police, the mother jumped into her vehicle and chased the suspect for about 11 kilometres, unaware that he had pushed the child out of the car before fleeing the apartment complex, authorities said. The child was found wandering nearby, uninjured, police said.
According to police, the mother followed the suspect and finally rammed into his car near an intersection, and the suspect fled on foot.
Melissa Torrez, the mother, told KOAT-TV she looked in the back seat of the suspect’s car after crashing into it and saw an empty baby carseat.
“I was like . . . what a sick man,” she told the station.
The attempted kidnapping sparked a massive manhunt Wednesday as more than two dozen officers went door-to-door in the area looking for the suspect. A helicopter with heat-sensor cameras also was sent in for the search, authorities said.
David Hernandez, 31, was arrested on Thursday afternoon in Rio Rancho after he saw his picture on television and called police. After being interviewed, he was charged with kidnapping. As he was being taken to jail, Hernandez told reporters that he was innocent.
Police were also investigating a possible connection to the abduction and sexual assault of a 6-year-old from the same apartment complex last week. The suspect in that case was described as a male in a silver or grey vehicle.
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