SANTA ANA, CA — Police have arrested a 425 pound man after they say he grabbed a 10-year-old boy on his way to soccer practice, and started smelling him.
The incident happened Thursday evening when a 10-year-old boy was walking to a local park with his 19-year-old cousin. When they reached the 500 block of E. Central, 55-year-old Victor Joseph Espinoza lured the boy over to him.
Once the boy got close enough, Espinoza grabbed him and would not let go. The boy was finally able to pull free and ran to the park to notify his soccer coach what had happened.
“The little boy cam crying at me, saying that man wanted to take him,” the coach said. “He said that he grabbed him and he started smelling him.”
Espinoza was still at the front of the park when the coach saw him and confronted him.
“He goes, ‘Oh, I’m leaving, I’m leaving,’ and I said, ‘No, you’re not leaving, we’re going to wait for the cops. Because you did something wrong to that little boy.’ He tried to leave and that’s when I tackled him down. I’m a parent, I worry about my kids, and I thought that I had to do something.”
Somehow Espinoza still managed to escape, but a police helicopter would spot him hiding under a tree in a nearby backyard. He was arrested without incident and charged with suspicion of false imprisonment, child annoying, and gang enhancements, for being a documented gang member.