How Victor Perez saved abducted girl: four tales of everyday heroes

2. Victor Perez and the car chase

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger congratulates Good Samaritan Victor Perez Thursday in Fresno, Calif.

For Victor Perez, an unemployed Fresno, Calif., construction worker, alertness paid off. On Tuesday morning Mr. Perez saw a news report about a girl kidnapped by someone in a red and white pickup truck Monday afternoon. When he left his home later that day, he saw a truck like the one in the news report and decided to follow it.

"I just took that chance to follow the truck and told my cousin to dial 911, while I gave chase, and just to make sure if it wasn't him," Perez told "The Early Show" on CBS Wednesday morning.

Convinced that the truck was the one police were looking for, he used his car to cut off the truck.

"The second time I cut him off, the little girl stuck her head out, and that's when I said, 'OK, that ain't your girl right there,' " said Perez.

The man driving the truck eventually stopped and pushed the girl out onto the street, and Perez got out and stayed with her until police arrived. She was later returned to her mother, 12 hours after being abducted.

Eventually, police found the truck behind an apartment complex and arrested Gregorio Gonzalez, a gang member out on probation for felony domestic assault.

"I just felt like I was doing my part living in the same neighborhood as the little girl," Perez said. "I just felt like everybody should step up in their own communities and, when something like this happens, come together and try to do your part to help out."

Perez has been offered full-time jobs for his display of character, and will be honored in an on-field ceremony Saturday at Fresno State University's football game with Hawaii.

2 of 4
of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of 5 free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.