Heartbreaking footage shows 11-year-old girl narrowly escapes kidnapping attempt – suspect caught thanks to neighbor | The Gateway Expert

A 37-year-old Arizona man was arrested after harrowing surveillance video showed what happened Friday as an 11-year-old girl was walking to school.

“As a father and as a parent, it is very scary that on her normal walk to school she was targeted,” Glendale Police Officer Moroni Mendez said Monday, according to Arizona Family.

“Someone tried to take her away from her loving family,” he said.

Joseph Leroy Ruiz was arrested in connection with the incident. He is charged with attempted kidnapping and custodial interference.

Police responded to Sunset Elementary School after a fifth-grade student said she feared she was the target of an attempted kidnapping.

The girl told police that someone she believed to be “suspicious” was waiting at the bottom of the stairs of her apartment building and gave her what she described as a “strange look” as he walked by. She told police that she felt uncomfortable because of the interaction and ran through her apartment complex.

Once she reached Onyx Avenue, she told police that a car driven by the same man she had seen at her apartment building had stopped as she was walking.

She said a man got out of the vehicle and ran after her with his arms outstretched, until she ran to some friends nearby, screaming for help.

Police said the girl was then joined by three friends and continued to school.

When police went to the scene of the alleged incident, they reviewed surveillance videos that confirmed the girl’s story.

Police saw a car matching the one in the video driven by a man who matched the description of the man the girl had seen in her apartment building. They arrested the driver.

Ruiz has a record that includes attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges in 2013.

Police said Ruiz lives in the same apartment complex as the girl, KSAZ-TV reported.

Police said the girl did as others should do.

“He did the right thing. She screamed. She screamed. She told the adults,” Mendez said, according to the Arizona Republic.

This article originally appeared in The Western Journal.

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