AUBURN, Calif. -- A father said he used his fists to stop a would-be kidnapper from dragging his 3-year-old daughter out of a park in California.
Witnesses who were at North Auburn Regional Park about 7 p.m. told deputies the suspect, 26-year-old Yonel Hernandez-Velasco, was acting strangely Saturday before he allegedly accosted the man's girl.
A group of boys said Hernandez-Velasco twice gtried to buy their basketball.
According to the Placer County Sheriff's Office, when they rejected him, he showed them a pair of handcuffs and threatened to drag one of them into a nearby pond, according to KTXL.
Cecilia Sole was playing with her two daughters when the boys told Hernandez-Velasco to go away. Sole said that's when he walked over to her youngest.
“He interlaces his fingers with my 3-year-old and starts trying to make a game out of it. Like skipping with her," Sole told KTXL.
But she said it was no game when Hernandez-Velasco started dragging the girl away. She chased after them while calling the girl's father, who lives near the park.
Hernadez-Velasco let the girl go but the bizarre incident was far from over.
"He just looked at me like [shrugs] and I was like, ‘Wow no big thing, huh bud? You just tried to kidnap my daughter,'" said Fred Cantrell Jr., the toddler's father.
Police said at that point, Hernandez-Velasco took out the pair of handcuffs, wrapped them around his fist and took a swing at the toddler's father.
Cantrell said he punched back, fists flew and Hernandez-Velasco collapsed to the ground.
The threat was over, but not for the girl, who called out for her father later that night, unable to sleep.
“She gave me a kiss, she was all, 'I love you, daddy.' I was like, 'I love you too, baby.' Then she’s like, 'Don’t ever let me go.' That right there crushed my heart,” Cantrell said.
Hernandez-Velasco was hospitalized then booked into the Auburn Jail upon his release.
He has been charged on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and attempted kidnapping. His bail is set at $1.2 million.AlertMe