Monday, November 29, 2010

Hero Saves Abducted Child

Although we’re more often than not bombarded with gloom and doom news stories, every now and then you run across an incident that rekindles your faith in humanity, particularly when it’s a story about a hero that saves a child.

Like this one:

On October 4, 2010 in Fresno, California, 8-year-old Elisa Cardenas was playing with some friends outside her home when Gregorio Gonzalez, a 24-year-old known gang member who was on felony probation, tried to lure the children into his truck. They tried to flee, but Gonzalez grabbed Elisa just as her mother ran out to try and save her. A statewide Amber Alert was issued after the abduction, police released surveillance video of Gonzalez’s truck to the media, and a search was launched for the missing child.

At about 6:45 the next morning, Victor Perez, father of two boys, was speaking with his cousin outside his home when he spotted a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s pickup truck that he’d seen on the news the night before. He decided to pursue the vehicle while his cousin dialed 911.

When he caught up with Gonzalez, because he wasn’t sure if in fact he was following the kidnapper or not, Perez simply rolled down his window and waved to him, as though asking for directions. “I need to talk to you”, he told Gonzalez, but Gonzalez said “No. My truck is messing up. I need to leave.” Then he sped away. Perez followed and the second time he caught up with him, the little girl’s head popped up over the dashboard as Gonzalez lifted his hands in anger. Until then, Victor Perez hadn’t seen the child; the kidnapper had been hiding her, pushing her down.

"I made eye contact with her. And that's when I wasn't scared anymore," Perez said. "I won't kid you, until then I'd thought 'Does this guy have a gun?' But once I met her eyes, I just thought 'I've got to get that little girl out of there.'"

Perez chased after Gonzalez and attempted to try and cut him off, hoping to get him off the road. When he finally drove his truck directly in the suspect’s path, blocking his path, Gonzalez pushed the young girl out the passenger door and fled. Perez stayed with the girl and called 911. About 40 minutes later, Gregorio Gonzalez was spotted and taken into custody. Since then he’s been arraigned in Fresno County Superior Court on eight felony charges. If he’s convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life without the possibility of parole. Let’s hope that’s what happens.

This story really warmed my soul. Victor Perez is a reminder that underneath all the gloom and doom news broadcasts, there are truly good people out there making this world a better place. Thank goodness for his courageous actions; without him, that little girl may have been another tragic statistic. 40% of children abducted in similar situations are killed before police are even alerted. And within 24 hours after they go missing, 90% of them are murdered.

If the world had more Victor Perezes, we’d have less Gregorio Gonzalezes. And that’s a good thing.

Watch the story on this ABC New Video:
Hero Victor Perez Saves Abducted 8-Year-Old Elisa - ABC News

I wish nothing but good things for this heroic man.

2 comments:

  1. Indeed. There are good stories aplenty out there, although it still seems skewed to the negative to me... But once in a while a selfless act highlights the best of us.

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  2. Yeah, I know what you mean. It's a tragic story (the little girl was assulted, after all), but it was also happy because she wasn't murdered. But this man was a hero, and his courage saved her life. How many people would do what he did?

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