SoCal soccer coach tackles child-kidnap suspect

October 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Santa Ana police officers arrested a man suspected of trying to kidnap a boy who was on his way to soccer practice with his cousin Thursday.

Police received a report of an attempted kidnapping at Delhi Park at 505 E. Central Avenue in Santa Ana at 7:23 p.m.

A 10-year-old boy was walking to soccer practice with his 19-year-old female cousin when they were approached by 55-year-old Santa Ana resident Victor Joseph Espinoza. The pair did not know the suspect.

Espinoza allegedly lured the boy close enough to grab him. The boy yelled for help, but the suspect would not let him go. The boy broke free and ran with his cousin to the park and told the boy's soccer coach what had happened.

The coach saw Espinoza in front of the park. Espinoza attempted to flee, according to police, and was tackled by the coach in the street. The coach attempted to detain the 425-pound man but was unable to hold him.

Espinoza was located by police helicopter hiding nearby in the back yard of a residence on the 500 block of Central. He was arrested and booked for false imprisonment, child annoying and gang enhancements. Espinoza was a documented gang member, according to police.

KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA contributed to this report.


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