Samaritan Recounts Dramatic Kidnapping Rescue

Victor Perez said fear "went out the window" when he saw kidnapped girl's face.

ByABC News
October 5, 2010, 4:48 PM

Oct. 6, 2010— -- The good Samaritan who rescued an 8-year-old California girl from an alleged kidnapping after a dramatic car chase said today he was afraid for a second -- until he saw the terrified girl's face in the suspect's car.

"The second time I reached him, the way he acted -- yes, I was, for a split second I was nervous until I saw the little girl and all fear was out the window after that," Fresno, Calif., resident Victor Perez told "Good Morning America." "I didn't have no fear. I wasn't thinking of me no more. I was just thinking we need to get that little girl to safety.

"I wasn't going to give up. ... I couldn't give up," said the unemployed construction worker.

The girl was playing with friends outside her house in Fresno early Monday evening, when police say Gregorio Gonzales tried to lure the girls into a pickup truck.

The children ran, but Gonzales allegedly grabbed one of the girls and sped away. Her mother chased after the truck, but it was too late.

A statewide Amber Alert was issued, and more than 100 officers immediately went on the hunt, searching for the truck, which was captured on surveillance video at a nearby intersection.

Perez said he saw the alert and was astonished how close the alleged crime happened to his home. When he went outside, he said his cousin spotted the truck down the street.

"I had a split-second decision to decide to call 911 or go after it," Perez said. "I decided to go after it while my cousin was dialing 911. I took a chance to go and ask a question to see if that was the man that we're looking for."

After several attempts to pull the man over, Perez was eventually able to cut off the other driver at which point he apparently released the little girl.

"She wasn't hurt. She was frightened -- very, very shaky," Perez said. "She just kept saying she was scared."

A few hours later, police arrested Gonzales, a 24-year-old known gang member who was already on felony probation. Authorities say Gonzales had also exposed himself to two other young girls earlier that day.

Without Perez's action, Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer said the girl could've vanished forever.

"If not for obviously Victor being as brave as he is, we may have never recovered her," Dyer said.