While driving one day, Sandra Ferguson noticed an 11-year-old girl in the front seat of a strange man’s car. The student looked familiar: She was a student at Sutter Elementary School in Antioch, where Sandra teaches.
However, Sandra didn’t recognize the man, and her gut told her that something was off. The girl looked scared. Unsure of how to act — like the teacher who saved 16 students from a knife attack — Sandra approached the situation with caution.
“I said, ‘Sweetheart, is that your dad?’ She said, ‘No he’s a friend.’ I said, ‘No, he’s not your friend!’ ” explained Sandra. Then she acted quickly.
“I put my car in front of his and blocked him in. I told her, ‘You get out of that truck right now!’ “
The young girl got out and was fortunately not hurt. Ferguson then called the police, who arrested 51-year-old Santiago Salazar on suspicion of kidnapping. Salazar did not attempt to run.
“Thankfully she was a guardian angel, preventing something terrible from happening,” said Debra Harrington, the school’s principal.
Police say that the girl had been walking to school when she was lured into the car by Salazar. He grabbed the girl by the wrist and pulled her into the vehicle.
Had it not been for Sandra’s instincts and quick thinking, who knows what could have happened…