WHITTIER, Calif. (KTLA) — A suspected kidnapper is in custody after alert citizens realized he was trying to abduct a young girl and jumped into action.
The man was chased and held down until officers arrived to take him into custody.
According to police, the drama began earlier in the day Wednesday when the 18-year-old victim met David Polanco and spent several hours with him walking in the Uptown Whittier area.
According to the victim, at some point Polanco, a registered sex offender, grabbed her around the waist from behind and attempted to pull her away while walking in an alley.
Witnesses observed the victim struggling with 41-year-old Polanco and immediately called the Whittier Police Department.
According to witnesses, Polanco fled when he heard witnesses call 911.
Several individuals, who witnessed the incident, detained Polanco until the Whittier Police arrived.
“I yelled to him, ‘Stop!’ and I figured he’d stop if he was innocent. But he didn’t, he took off,” said Good Samaritan Terry Kuwahara.
“So I went after him, and I just grabbed him by the back of his shirt and jerked him down,” he recalled.
“We followed him around the corner and Terry had him down,” another witness recounted.
“We jumped on top… I jumped on him and held him down and waited for the police.”
Polcano is being charged with kidnapping and is being held on $1 million bail.
Investigators are urging the public to report any suspicious contact they may have had with Polanco to the Whittier Police Department.
Currently, it is too early in the investigation involving Palanco to determine if there are any connections to similar crimes in the area in recent weeks.
If you have any questions regarding this incident, please contact Community Relations Officer Brad White at 562-244-0045.