The majority of parents would say that having their child taken away is their biggest dread if you ask them.
It’s difficult to conceive what one would do in this situation, but one parent, sadly, discovered precisely what it’s like.
Living just across from Regional Park in Auburn, Freddie Cantrell frequently takes his kids there. When the weather permits, he, his ex-wife, and their kids like visiting there.
Cantrell, however, received a call one evening in 2018 that no parent ever wants to get. When she and her new husband were babysitting their children at that park, his ex-wife called him on his mobile.
“My ex-wife called me and said I needed to get down there right now. Someone had recently attempted to kidnap our daughter, Aubrey, she stated, Cantrell recalled.
Natalie, Aubrey’s 6-year-old sister, was standing close to her when everything occurred.
“Some random man simply showed up and started pulling her. Natalie, a young woman, told CBS Sacramento that the man tried to run over and grab her.
Cantrell, who had hurried over to the park next to his house right away, sprinted to save his daughter. Cantrell arrived just in time to divert the would-be kidnapper in the opposite direction as his ex-wife and her husband continued to chase after the nearly kidnapper.
He attempted to use the shackles that were tied around his fingers to restrain me. He wanted to strike me with them while making them appear to be brass knuckles. I had no choice except to take action right away and knock him down,” Cantrell said.
Yonel Hernandez-Velasco, age 26, was later recognized as the culprit. Shortly after the man was knocked unconscious, deputies arrived on the scene and arrested him for attempted kidnapping and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Observer of the crime and neighbor April McGuinness said, “We watch the news every day, so we are aware of the awful things occurring to other people. We only pray that our children won’t ever experience something similar.
“I can’t even begin to picture what would happen if the tables were turned, and I was the victim,” her 11-year-old son said, standing next to her. I typically come here alone.
Residents have expressed their delight that the offender was quickly apprehended and their admiration for Cantrell’s arrest of the offender.
That young child is my daughter, and I must defend her at all costs, Cantrell said. “I heard so many people applauding me and telling me, “Oh, you’re such a hero, you rescued the girl,” and I don’t know what more to say in response.”
His tale became viral after his ex-wife decided to post about the incidents on Facebook. Her post gained over 1,000 shares and hundreds of comments after taking off like wildfire. Commenters expressed anxiety over threats to youngsters of this nature while praising Cantrell for his fast thinking and bravery.
If Hernandez-Velasco was under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of the event, such information has not been made public. He underwent testing to establish and validate his identification, and he was lodged in Auburn Jail on both counts. His $1.2 million bail was decided upon.