Teacher’s aide called ‘guardian angel’ after stopping alleged kidnapping of 11-year-old girl

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ANTIOCH, Calif. — An observant teacher’s aide stopped what appeared to be a kidnapping in progress thanks to her quick-thinking.

According to KGO, Sandra Ferguson is a teacher’s aide at Sutter Elementary in Antioch, California. On her way to work Friday morning, she spotted an 11-year-old girl, who is a student at her school, in the front seat of a car with an unknown man.

Ferguson told the station the young girl looked scared, and she sensed something was wrong.

“I said, ‘Sweetheart, is that your dad?’ She said, ‘No he’s a friend.’ I said, ‘No, he’s not your friend!'” Ferguson told KGO. “I put my car in front of his and blocked him in. I told her, ‘You get out of that truck right now!'”

Ferguson called 9-1-1 right away and explained what was happening. Police responded and arrested the suspect, 51-year-old Santiago Salazar.

The 11-year-old girl was not physically injured.

“Thankfully she [Ferguson] was a guardian angel, preventing something terrible from happening,” said school principal Debra Harrington.

Investigators told the station the girl had been walking to school when she was lured over to Salazar’s vehicle.

Salazar was booked into jail on suspicion of kidnapping.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.