SANTA ANA – A brave soccer coach helped save a 10-year old boy from kidnapping, and helped police capture the suspect.
On Thursday evening, at 7:23 pm, police were called to Delhi Park at 505 East Central on reports of a kidnapping. According to a Santa Ana Police press release, a 10-year-old boy was on his way to soccer practice, accompanied by his 19-year-old female cousin. Victor Joseph Espinoza, 55 of Santa Ana, lured the boy close and then grabbed him. The boy yelled for help and tried to get away from the 425 pound man, and eventually broke free after a struggle.
The boy and his cousin ran to the park, where they told his coach what had happened. The unidentified soccer coach then pursued the assailant, and located him in front of the park. Espionoza attempted to flee, but the coach tackled him in the street. He tried to hold him there until police arrived, but Espinoza was able to get away.
Officers soon arrived, and with the help of a police helicopter, located Espinoza hiding in a back yard in the East Central neighborhood. Suffering from some minor injuries from his confrontation with the soccer coach, he was arrested without any trouble. He was booked for false imprisonment and child annoying with additional gang enhancements, as he is a documented gang member.
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