Kidnapper Tries To Grab Little Girl At The Park, But Brave Dad Manages To Knock Him Out.
Families used to love going to this park, but after an attempted kidnapping a couple of years ago, parents and guardians are questioning its safety. Parents, in particular, will be left concerned by stories like this.
What happened that day was something that Freddie Cantrell will never forget. If you were there, you will never forget that day too. He lives right across the street from Regional Park in Auburn. His kids and his ex-wife go there all the time and enjoy outdoor activities. That day, his ex-wife and her husband were looking after the kids when something happened totally out of nowhere.
According to Cantrell, they used to love that park. He said, “I got a phone call from my ex-wife telling me that I need to come down quickly. She said ‘Someone just tried to kidnap our daughter, Aubrey.’”
The little girls’ sister, 6-year old Natalie, saw it all. She recalls, “Some unknown guy just came here, started dragging her. He attempted to run over and take her with him.”
They did not let this pass and took immediate action. The kids’ mother and her husband were running, trying to catch the felon. Cantrell saw them and started to run in the opposite direction, as well knowing that cornering him was the only way to catch him.
Cantrell shared, “He was wearing handcuffs wrapped across his fingers and tried to use them on me. He intended to make them seem like brass knuckles and punch me with them. I had no other option than to act immediately and knock him out.
” He added, “I heard so many people praising me and telling me ‘Oh, you’re such a hero, you saved the girl’, and I don’t know what else to respond then to tell them ‘That little girl is my daughter, and I must protect her at any cost. ’”
The kidnapper was 26-year old Yonel Hernandez-Velasco. Hernandez-Velasco was arrested for attempted kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon shortly after the Deputy County arrived at the scene.
April McGuinness a nearby neighbor who witnessed the incident said, “We watch the news every day, we are aware of the bad things happening to other people. We just hope that something like that will never happen to our children.” McGuinness’s 11-year-old son join the conversation and said “I can’t imagine what would happen if the roles switched and I was the victim. Usually, I come here alone.”
Residents near Regional Park are relieved that the criminal has been apprehended and is no longer on the loose. Another neighbor said, “My reaction would be similar, if not the same. We are talking about kids here it doesn’t matter if they are mine, or someone else.”
The mother of the children was moved to share the story and put it on Facebook. Her message went viral, with more than 1,000 shares and hundreds of comments from concerned citizens around the country.
It was not clear if Hernandez-Velasco was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He was taken to the hospital, and blood samples were taken so that they could figure out who he was. He was arrested soon after, and charged with those crimes as well. A judge has set his bail at $1.2 million.