Queens, NY – A couple of Good Samaritans saved an 11-year-old girl from a serial sex offender who was trying to kidnap her on Saturday.
Police said the little girl was on her way to a weekend program at IS77 in Ridgewood when a man started following her, WABC reported.
She started walking faster to get away from him, and he started calling out to her, and picked up his pace as well.
Near Center Street and Seneca Avenue, the man caught up with her and grabbed her, WABC reported.
He tried to throw her into the back of his car head-first.
But his 11-year-old victim wasn’t going to be kidnapped easily, and witnesses said she screamed and fought and tried to contact police on her iPhone.
That’s when neighbors Alexander Salas and Edwin Gonzalez heard her screaming and ran out of their houses to help her.
“He dragged her, and that’s when he put her in the car, and she was kicking like crazy,” Gonzalez told WABC.
Salas also described a terrifying scene to WLNY.
“He literally had her sideways and she’s fighting with him, he’s trying to put her in the car head first,” he said. “She fought, she kicked, she screamed, she did everything and she used her phone. She saved her own life, I didn’t. She did everything the right way I was just there to help her.”
Salas brought a baseball bat with him when he left his house and used it to give the little girl an opportunity to escape from her captor, WLNY reported.
The men held the would-be kidnapper until police arrived.
Police identified the man who grabbed the little girl as 40-year-old Relyn Estrada, a registered sex offender with 13 prior arrests on his record dating back to 2001, including sex abuse, according to WLNY.
Police arrested Estrada and he was booked on charges of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, reckless endangerment, weapons possession, endangering the welfare of a child, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and failure to report change of address as a sex offender.
The little girl was not injured in the attempted abduction, police said.
WABC reported that Estrada smiled for the cameras as he was taken from the precinct to the jail on Saturday night.