Freddie Cantrell and his family are ordinary people that live just across the street from Regional Park in Auburn, California.
Like many other dads, Freddie often takes his two daughters there to play.
One Saturday afternoon, the kids were there with their mother and stepfather, when a man tried to take 3-year-old Aubrey. As soon as his ex called him, Freddie ran across the street and sprung into action.
Their 6-Year-Old Daughter Witnessed The Whole Thing
The father of the girls recalled the moment when the girls’ mother called him to share the terrifying event. She yelled and frantically begged him over the phone to get to the park as soon as possible.
Freddie told the reporters:
“I got a phone call from the mother saying, ‘Hey you got to get down here quick. Somebody tried to kidnap Aubrey!”
His daughter Natalie saw the whole thing happen and told the story from her point of view:
“The guy walked up and started dragging Aubrey and running with her and skipping with her.”
All Three Parents Tried To Corner The Man To Save The Girl
They didn’t have much time to come up with a strategy, so everyone was just following their parental instinct.
While Aubrey’s mom and stepdad ran at the suspect from one side of the park, Cantrell didn’t let the man slip from their hands. He came at him from the other end and managed to catch up with him.
However, the kidnapper didn’t have any intention to go down without a fight.
Freddie explained their struggle to catch the man:
“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.”
Thankfully, They Had Luck To Stop The Kidnapper
Shortly after the parents’ intervention, the police turned up.
Placer County deputies arrived on the scene and took the suspect into custody.
The 26-year-old man named Yonel Hernandez-Velasco got charged with attempted kidnapping and arrest with a deadly weapon.
A Harsh Reminder For All Parents – Be Careful
A local mom, April McGuinness shared her opinion on this topic:
“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.”
Moreover, her 11-year old son added:
“It’s better than me having to get kidnapped because I come here alone.”
Parents Will Do Everything To Protect Their Children
In the end, Freddie Cantrell doesn’t think that he’s a hero for stepping in and dealing with the dangerous man.
“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.”
Indeed, he was only doing what any father would do to protect his children.
With everything that happens these days, keeping our eyes on the road doesn’t need to stand only when we’re driving, after all.