Neighbor thwarts attempted kidnapping of 5-year-old San Jacinto child – Local man arrested

SAN JACINTO, Calif., — Authorities say a 5-year-old was saved from being snatched off a San Jacinto street after a citizen saw a man on a bicycle grab the young victim and try to drag the child away from their home yesterday afternoon, Monday, Sept. 13. Seeing what was happening, the citizen intervened and stopped the kidnapping, at which time the suspect fled the area on his bike.

The incident, which happened in the 300 block of Shaver Street near Hyatt Elementary School, led to the swift arrest of the alleged suspect a short distance away, according to officials.


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Deputies from the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station were dispatched to the area around 4:30 p.m. after receiving reports of the kidnapping attempt, according to Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Ken Hoon who said deputies rushed to the scene to ensure the juvenile’s safety.

Investigating deputies interviewed several witnesses at the scene and learned that a man, later identified as Anthony Rodriguez, 32, of San Jacinto, had approached the young victim on a bicycle and offered the juvenile candy.

32-year-old Anthony Rodriguez, of San Jacinto, was arrested after authorities say he tried to snatch a child away from outside their residence yesterday afternoon. The 5-year-old was rescued from the attempted kidnapper when a neighbor witnessed what was happening and intervened, wrestling the young victim from Rodriguez’s grip. RSO booking photo

“When the juvenile refused the candy, (Rodriguez) grabbed the juvenile and attempted to ride away,” explained Hoon.

“A neighbor standing in front of their residence witnessed what was occurring and was able to assist the juvenile escape the male subject’s grasp,” the Sergeant continued.

Based on the information provided by witnesses, deputies broadcast the man’s description over the radio, according to Hoon; who added that other responding deputies soon located a man matching the description provided by witnesses and detained the bicycle riding man for further investigation.

Online jail records indicate he was apprehended less than a block from where the kidnapping was thwarted, in the area of Shaver and S. Irwin streets.

After witnesses confirmed Rodriguez was the person they saw trying to grab the child and drag them away from their home, deputies arrested him.

Rodriguez was later booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning on suspicion of kidnapping. He was also booked on a years-old warrant, issued in 2017, for failure to obey a court order. A Superior Courts record search did not provide details as to what case or order the misdemeanor warrant was issued for.

Rodriguez remains in custody in lieu of $55,000 bail or bond and he is scheduled to be arraigned at an unspecified court on Sept. 16.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Investigator Negrete at the Hemet Station at (951) 791-3400. Callers can refer to incident file number I212560084 and can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.