A local father was hailed as a hero after saving his 3-year-old daughter and knocking out her abductor.
On a Sunday night 2018, Freddie Cantrell’s two young daughters were playing with their mother and stepfather at the Regional Park, which is just across from where he resides.
He recalled that he received a call from his ex-wife saying: “Hey you got to get down here quick. Somebody tried to kidnap Aubrey,”.
Their 6-year-old daughter witnessed the entire incident.
“The guy walked up and started dragging Aubrey and running with her and skipping with her,” young Natalie said.
As the mom and stepdad started running in the direction of the suspect, Cantrell began to run towards them from the other side of the park.
“He tried to swing at me with handcuffs wrapped around his fingers and try to use them as brass knuckles, and that’s when I just took action and try to knock him out,” Cantrell said.
Following the citizen’s arrest, Placer County deputies responded promptly and detained 26-year-old Yonel Hernandez-Velasco for attempted kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.
The unfortunate incident served as a lesson that kids can’t just be kids and play unattended.
“You see the bad stuff on the news and hope it’s not going to happen to your kids, so you got to just keep an eye out I guess,” said April McGuinness, a mother, and neighbor who lives nearby and witness of the incident.
Cantrell claimed that his instincts took over without even hesitating or showing fear.
“They’re saying ‘Oh you’re a hero for saving that little girl,’ Well that little girl is my daughter, and I’m just doing the fatherly thing,” he said.
Hernandez-Velasco was escorted to the hospital for a medical checkup before being sent to the Auburn Prison.