San Jose police are asking for the public's help in finding a man they say was involved in the brief kidnap of a 13-year-old girl, who, according to the girl's aunt, had been "traumatized."
“She’s fine," Maria Almeda told NBC Bay Area on Thursday in Spanish. "She’s calmer now. She was traumatized by what occurred.”
The girl has since traveled to Fresno to be with her mother after she was dragged into a driveway by a stranger - and then released after she struggled with him - on Friday about 6 a.m.
At the time, the girl had been walking along the sidewalk near East St. James and N. 33rd streets in San Jose's Little Portugal neighborhood when a man approached her and dragged her into a residential driveway, according to police. She screamed and fought him off, police said.
"I’m sure it was a frightening situation for her," San Jose Police Officer Albert Morales said. "She fought back valiantly and was able to escape the perpetrator."
A nearby surveillance camera captured the young girl running away.
Frank Tavares, who lives across the street, showed the video to NBC Bay Area Wednesday afternoon. In the video there is a blurry image of the girl walking behind an SUV and stopping.
There is a vague motion of a struggle followed by the girl running down the sidewalk. The entire event lasts less than 30 seconds.
The girl told police she screamed and fought back hard enough that the man released her and was last seen running eastbound on E. St. James Street towards N. King Road.
Neighbor Ana Alves said she saw the girl running and screaming.
"And I opened the door and that's when I saw a little girl running to the right side," Alves said. "And there was this big tall skinny guy run towards the left side."
And it was hard to see. But it was clear something had happened to the young girl.
"I even asked her honey are you okay?" Alves said. "She was so paranoid and she was just running. She didn't hear me talking to her."
The suspect was described as a Hispanic male, 25-35 years old, 5'10", thin to medium build, black hair, brown eyes, mustache and spoke English. Police released a sketch of the man Wednesday (to the right). He was wearing a dark blue hooded sweatshirt with a hood over his head, blue "Dickies" pants and brown work shoes with white paint, according to police.
If you have information on the crime, police are asking you call Detective Enrique Garcia of the San Jose Police Department's Robbery Unit at (408)277-4166. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call Silicon Valley Crimestoppers at (408)947-STOP (7867) or may visit tipsubmit.com and may be eligible for a cash reward.