AUBURN, CA – A quick-thinking father clobbered a man who was reportedly trying to kidnap his 3-year-old daughter. The dad punched him twice during the confrontation, which occurred Tuesday evening, reported The Sacramento Bee.
The girl had been playing at the North Auburn Regional Park—33 miles northeast of Sacramento—while her mother and the mother’s boyfriend were walking their dog nearby.
A suspect identified by police as Yonel Hernandez-Velasco, 26, is accused of walking up to the girl, taking her hand “skipping through the grass.”
The mother’s boyfriend confronted the suspect who started acting “aggressively,” the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said. Apparently when that wasn’t going so well, she then called the girl’s father who lived at an apartment across the street.
“He just looked at me like [shrugs] and I was like, ‘Wow no big thing, huh bud?’ You just tried to kidnap my daughter,” Fred Cantrell Jr., the toddler’s father, told WGNTV.com.
The suspect pulled out a pair of handcuffs from his pocket and used them as brass knuckles, authorities said. Next, the suspect reportedly charged at Cantrell who punched him.
As a result, the suspect fell to the ground. However, he got up and charged Cantrell for a second time and was punched again, the news release said. After the second blow, the suspect remained on the ground until authorities arrived.
A group of boys who had been playing basketball told police the suspect had approached them asking to buy their basketball, The Bee reported. When they refused, he showed them his pair of handcuffs and said he could handcuff one of them and drag them into the pond.
Hernandez-Velasco was medically cleared at a nearby hospital then booked into jail. The charges included kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, and assault with a deadly weapon. A blood sample was drawn to determine if the he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. His bail is set at $1.2 million.
The threat was over, but not for the little girl, who called out for her father later that night, unable to sleep.
“She gave me a kiss, she was all, ‘I love you, daddy.’ I was like, ‘I love you too, baby.’ Then she’s like, ‘Don’t ever let me go.’ That right there crushed my heart,” Cantrell said.