Store clerk hailed as ‘true hero’ after saving woman from kidnappers

Authorities in California gave praise to a “quick-thinking” gas station employee for saving a woman from a group of men who were reportedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted her.

The clerk, Savannah Pritchett, was praised by police in Stanislaus County, California, after she helped a terrified customer who said she had persuaded her kidnappers to halt so she could use the restroom.

Just before the alleged kidnappers entered the store, Pritchett was seen on surveillance footage locking the victim inside the restroom and giving her a telephone to call the police.

Shortly after, police arrived with guns drawn and detained Anthony Sandoval, 18, and another suspect.

“Her bravery and quick-thinking saved a woman who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted,” the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department said in a Facebook post “The clerk stepped up, locked the doors, hid the woman and called our deputies. … When we work together, we can do great things in our community.”

Savannah Pritchett (Screenshot via Youtube/ CBS Sacramento).

According to the department, two of the suspects were detained immediately and two more were arrested later.

Although Pritchett was praised as a “hero,” she insisted that this was not the case.

“No, I don’t want to be called a hero, because I would just hope that if anyone came up to you talking about the need help and they’ve been kidnapped, I really hope that they would have helped her too,” Pritchett told Good Morning America, “The girl told me she tried to get help from two different guys in Fresno and I think in Bakersfield or something and both the guys drove right off from her.”

According to the police, the woman was sexually assaulted after being kidnapped around 90 miles from the store in Fresno. The suspects, who are accused of armed robbery, sexual assault, and kidnapping, appear to have connections to neighborhood gangs.

When she learned the woman was fine, Pritchett claimed she was thrilled.

“I’m very thankful that I got to help that girl and I am very thankful that she’s home safe with her family and now I’m happy that they got those guys off the street,” Pritchett said.