A California woman who was dropping her child off at school allegedly saved a 12-year-old girl from an attempted kidnapper by pretending to be the girl’s mother.
According to the Fountain Valley Patch, Amy Martinez was walking to Lathrop Intermediate School in Santa Ana on Wednesday morning when she was grabbed by a homeless woman.
“She just came up to me and went like this,” Martinez told KTLA while simulating a bear hug. “And then she started walking with me away.”
The girl recalled how she began to scream and the woman told her in Spanish not to cry even though she wasn’t crying.
Fortunately, a Good Samaritan who had just dropped her child off quickly caught wind of the situation and jumped into action, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertangna told the station.
“Amy was kind of struggling to get away, so then those were the signs that something wasn’t right,” the hero stranger, who wished to remain anonymous, told KTRK.
According to Bertagna, the woman said that she was the girl’s mother and demanded that the suspect let her go. The woman then took the 12-year-old to school.
“I was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to live,'” Martinez recalled. The girl told KTRK that she wants to thank the perceptive passerby for being her “hero.”
Police eventually arrived at the scene and arrested the suspect, identified as Claudia Hernandez Diaz, 34. Patch reported that she was booked on suspicion of kidnapping a minor younger than 14. However, Bertagna said that police haven’t determined a motive.
As for the Good Samaritan, she said her motherly instincts kicked in and that she would do it again if she had to.
She said, “You’re a parent, you see somebody else’s child in danger, automatically you react as if it was yours.”
[Featured Image: Amy Martinez/KTLA video screengrab; Claudia Hernandez Diaz/Santa Ana Police Department]