Good Samaritans thwart kidnapping, sexual assault of 4-year-old
Santa Ana, Calif. (KTLA) -- Two "Good Samaritans" have been credited with stopping a 28-year-old man who allegedly tried to kidnap a 4-year-old with the intent to sexually assault the child, the Santa Ana Police Department said Thursday.
The victim was with family members celebrating a birthday at Jerome Park in Santa Ana Wednesday evening. The boy had been playing on the playground with other children when, shortly after 8:15 p.m., the child's mother lost sight of her son, a police news release stated.
She called police, who responded and started searching the area.
Santa Ana officers utilized an Orange County Sheriff's Department Air Unit helicopter to broadcast the lost child's description to surrounding communities. Two citizens saw a boy matching the description in a nearby market, and observed him with an adult male, according to the release.
Adolfo Acosta confronted the man in the market and grabbed the boy away from him. The man ran out of the store, said Acosta, who immediately called 911.
Miguel Luna chased after the suspect as he fled into the parking lot.
"We chased him," said Luna. "He was like swerving between the cars."
The victim was then reunited with his mother. He was unharmed, according to the release.
Santa Ana resident Armando Torreblanca Nunez was taken into custody in connection with the incident, police said.
During the investigation, detectives "found evidence that convincingly showed that Nunez intended to kidnap and sexually assault the child. However, Nunez was stopped by the quick response of police officers and the concerned citizens," the release stated. "Thanks to the quick thinking and concern of these citizens, Nunez was stopped from sexually assaulting the victim."
Nunez was booked into the Santa Ana Detention Facility on multiple charges, including kidnapping, lewd act with a child, and kidnap for the purpose of a lewd act with a child, according to the release.
The department commended the two citizens for saving the child.
"Too often, these good citizens' efforts go unrecognized, despite the vital role they play in public safety," police said in the release.
Anyone with information about the case has been urged to call Santa Ana police detectives at 714-245-8343 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
RELATED: Shoeless Good Samaritan thwarts crime: