Some quick thinking and a little white lie helped an unidentified hero foil an attempted kidnapping.
Wednesday morning, 12-year old Amy Martinez was walking to school in Santa Ana, California when a woman, Claudia Hernandez Diaz, 34, grabbed her from behind. Diaz had an arm wrapped around Amy and was dragging her away.
As Amy struggled to get away, another woman who asked not be identified drove by after dropping her daughter off at school. Seeing Amy being dragged down the street, she could sense something was wrong.
“Amy was kind of struggling to get away, so then those were the signs that something wasn’t right,” recalls the woman.
The woman asked Amy if she was okay, and all the girl could do was shake her head to signal “no.” In a matter of seconds, the woman came up with an idea to free Amy. She told the culprit that Amy was her daughter.
“I was basically yelling, ‘Let her go,’ so as soon as my voice changed, she let her go and Amy walked into my car,” explains the heroic woman.
The woman drove Amy back to the school and called the police. Officers were able to track down Diaz and arrest her. She’s been charged with kidnapping, although a motive is unclear.
Afterward, the hero of the story explained her actions by saying: “You’re a parent, you see somebody else’s child in danger, automatically you react as if it was yours.”
While she declined to be named, local police have praised her as a hero.
“We always say if you see something say something,” says Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana police. “Well, she saw something and did something.”
Amy is fine following the kidnapping attempt but understandably shaken. She now has a family member drive her to school. She’s also grateful to the good Samaritan who was brave enough to intervene.
“I want to say thank you for saving my life,” Amy said of the woman. “You’re my hero.”