LOUISIANA, USA: Two sanitation workers are being celebrated as heroes for rescuing a little girl who had been kidnapped from the home of a family member.
10-year-old Jalisa Lasalle went missing from the New Iberia home last Sunday afternoon, as per theÂ Â New Iberia Police Department.
At first, authorities thought the child was inÂ âimminent danger,â and an Amber Alert describing a gray 2012 Nissan Altima that she had last been seen entering was issued during the night.
Two employees of theÂ Pelican Waste & Debris named Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine knew something was wrong when they saw a silver car in the middle of a field around 20 miles away in St.
Martin Parish while on their route on Monday morning.
âSomething told me âŚ I said, whatâs that car doing off in the field like that?âÂ Merrick said in a Facebook Live video.
They then blocked the car with their garbage truck and called the police, Merrick said.
âI blocked the truck in, [making] sure he couldnât get out,â he said.
After a responding officer praised the two men for their actions, Merrick began to cry.
âSheâs safe right now,âÂ he said, adding that he has a little girl of his own.
Pelican CEO Roddie Matherne commended his workers in a statement to ABC News.
âWe couldnât be prouder of Dion and Brandon,âÂ Matherne wrote in the email.Â âIn fact, All of our Pelican Waste team have been heroically working without fail during the pandemic quietly, professionally, and consistently serving the communities where we collect garbage & debris. They often respond in other ways while on the road. This was an exceptional thing that may very well have saved a little girlâs [life].â
In the clip, suspect Michael Sereal, 33, is seen being escorted away from his vehicle by officers, and he can even be heard saying:
âWhy are you doing this to me?â
AccordingÂ to KATC, the man is anÂ acquaintance of one of the girlâs family members.
He is now being held at the Iberia Parish JailÂ without bond on charges of aggravated kidnapping of a child and failure to register as a sex offender, online jail records state.
Sereal is on the New Iberia sex offender list for a conviction of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
The Louisiana State Police reported that the girl was evaluated by medical experts after she was rescued.
The investigation is ongoing.
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