Video footage released Tuesday shows an 11-year-old girl escaping from an attempted kidnapping attempt in Glendale, Arizona.
According to a Glendale Police Department press release, 37-year-old Joseph Leroy Ruiz was arrested last Friday after attempting to arrest a young girl who was walking to her school in Glendale.
Video footage of Friday’s incident shows a car performing a U-turn and parking in front of the 11-year-old girl as she was walking along the sidewalk. After parking next to the girl, Ruiz can be seen leaving the car and allegedly attempting to kidnap the girl. However, the 11-year-old girl was able to run away from the suspect. The Glendale Police Department was quickly notified of the incident.
“When officers arrived, they found an 11-year-old female who claimed a man jumped out of his car and attempted to grab her,” the police department’s press release stated. “The victim said she was walking to school when the incident occurred and was able to scream and run away from the suspect, who has since been identified as Joseph Ruiz.”
“Glendale Police want to commend the bravery of this young victim,” the department added. “She did exactly what she needed to do to avoid this situation from becoming much worse.”
According to ABC 7, the Glendale Police Department was able to use video footage of the alleged kidnapping attempt to identify both the suspect and his vehicle, which led to his subsequent arrest shortly after the incident. ABC 7 reported that the suspect was found in the same area and was wearing the same clothes.
“As a father myself, as a parent, it’s very frightening that on her normal walk to school, she was targeted,” Moroni Mendez, a Glendale police officer, said. “Someone tried to take her away from her loving family.”
According to Fox 10 Phoenix, Ruiz lived in the same apartment complex as the 11-year-old girl and has a criminal history, including charges of aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder.
“I would note that he has a history of violence. He was convicted of an aggravated assault, a class 3 dangerous felony, after having stabbed his mother in the neck, which caused some very serious injuries, so the state is concerned that he is at risk for violence,” a prosecutor said, according to Fox 10.
AZ Family reported that Ruiz has been charged with custodial interference and attempted kidnapping for last week’s incident.