Woman, 21, Uses Pepper Spray to Fend Off Would-Be Kidnapper in Garden Grove; 3 Sought: Police

A stretch of Bixby Avenue near Brookhurst Street is seen in this image from Google Maps.

A stretch of Bixby Avenue near Brookhurst Street is seen in this image from Google Maps.

A quick-thinking woman used pepper spray to fight off a man who apparently tried to abduct her off a street in broad daylight in Garden Grove on Wednesday, police said.

The 21-year-old was walking eastbound on Bixby Avenue near Brookhurst Street around 1:30 p.m. when she spotted a minivan driving slowly behind her, according to a Garden Grove Police Department news release.

Fearing for her safety, she grabbed pepper spray from her purse, police said.

Moments later, a man walked up behind the young woman, grabbed her arm and pulled her toward the van, according to the release.

The vehicle’s side door was open, and there was another man in the back. A third man was behind the wheel.

At that point, the woman pepper sprayed the man who was holding onto her, prompting him to let her go, police said.

He jumped back into the van, which drove away eastbound from the scene. The vehicle — described as silver or light green in color, with tinted windows — was last seen traveling toward Brookhurst Street.

It was not immediately clear where the incident took place on Bixby, but an elementary school is along the street in the location.

Nothing was taken from the woman, and she did not recognize any of the individuals.

Two of the sought men are described as Hispanic, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, 140 pounds and between the ages of 20 and 30 years old, according to the release. A detailed description of the driver was not provided.

Police are investigating the incident as an attempted kidnapping. Anyone with information is urged to call investigators at 714-741-5800.

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