A Massachusetts couple spotted a car Wednesday night highlighted in an AMBER Alert and gave chase, providing police with the information they needed to eventually stop the car and free an 11-year-old girl who had been grabbed while walking home from school hours earlier.
Benny Correa and Amanda Disley spotted the blue Honda Civic with distinctive rims seen in surveillance footage following the 11-year-old after she got off the bus in Springfield, according to NBC Boston.
Massachusetts State Police eventually stopped the Honda at about 7:15 p.m. and arrested Miguel Rodriguez, 24. The girl was found safe and returned to her relieved family.
Some of the video sorry for dramaticness but when I saw the person in the back seat being pushed down all we could think about is her and the danger she was in wasn’t even sure if it was the right car just the gut feeling my husband and i had by the rims and the funny movements in the car
Posted by Amanda Disley on Wednesday, January 15, 2020
“My wife showed me a picture on Facebook and, when she showed me the picture, he passed right in front of me and I noticed the wheels automatically,” Correa told NBC Boston.
Correa and Disley also saw the driver push someone down in the backseat. They followed, with Disley calling 911. “What’s this in regards to?” the dispatcher asks. “The kidnapping!” Disley shouts. “The blue Honda?” the dispatcher replies.
With Correa behind the wheel, the couple followed the car from Springfield into nearby Chicopee, giving police details of what they saw. Thanks in part to their diligence, state police tracked the car onto the Massachusetts Turnpike, heading east toward Worcester.
Between Sturbridge and Auburn, police used ongoing construction to narrow the traffic down to one lane, and the chase was over.
The 11-year-old had just gotten off her school bus at about 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Surveillance footage shows her walking down the street and the blue Honda following behind. A resident, Julius Kenney, said he heard her screams as a man forced her into the car.
“I heard the girl screaming and [a man] throwing her in the back, and I did get a good look at the car,” Kenney told NBC Boston.
The girl’s family released a statement on Thursday, thanking everyone who helped — especially Correa and Disley.
“In particular, we’d like to thank Amanda Disley and her husband for their vigilance and courage for putting themselves in harm’s way to make sure she wasn’t out of their sight,” the family said.
On Thursday, Rodriguez pleaded not guilty in court to kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, and witness intimidation. He was ordered held without bail and to undergo a mental health evaluation after the judge noted several restraining orders in his files, most from family members who worried that he did not take his prescribed medications, according to Western Mass News.
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