NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A good Samaritan in Queens is being credited with thwarting the kidnapping of a young girl on her way to school.
Police sources tell CBS2 that an 11-year-old girl was walking to class around 8 a.m. Saturday morning when a 40-year-old man pulled up to her in his car near Center Street and Seneca Avenue in Ridgewood.
After calling out to the child, the suspect reportedly blocked the girl’s path using his car.
The suspect, who sources identified as Relyn Estrada of Queens, allegedly got out of the vehicle and forced the 11-year-old into the back seat.
Police say an alert neighbor heard the child scream and ran out to address the alleged kidnapper. Holding a baseball bat, Alexander Salas reportedly provided the girl with a brief window to escape Estrada’s car.
Sources tell CBS2 that Estrada also pulled out a bat and continued arguing with Salas.
“He literally had her sideways and she’s fighting with him, he’s trying to put her in the car head first,” Salas 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.”
Authorities say Salas’ wife called police, who were able to apprehend Estrada near the scene.
Estrada was charged with 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. He also a registered sex offender who has 13 prior arrests on multiple charges, including sex abuse, dating back to 2001, according to sources.
Police say the girl is back home with her family and was not injured during the incident.