LANCASTER – A 4-year-old Lancaster girl nearly kidnapped from her front yard on Saturday received a holiday surprise from local deputies the very next day.
Deputies Amber Leist and Shane Chapman, and Detective Melissa Sullivan, returned to the victim’s home on Sunday to deliver Christmas gifts and food to the family.
“It helped to calm the nerves of the family, especially the little girl, because she was still kind of traumatized,” said Lancaster Community Relations Deputy Miguel Ruiz. “We really wanted to cheer her up because she really touched the hearts of the deputies.”
Just before noon on Saturday, Dec. 20, a 61-year-old male stranger tried to snatch the child from the family’s fenced yard on the 400 block of West Kildare Avenue in Lancaster, officials said.
“The victim’s 13-year-old brother rescued the victim as the suspect was walking away with his sister,” Ruiz stated. “Lancaster Deputy Amber Leist was nearby in a patrol car and quickly apprehended the suspect.”
Earl Williams was arrested in connection with the incident. (Read more here.)
Deputies who responded to the home Saturday saw that the family was in financial need, according to Ruiz.
“[The children] weren’t going to receive any gifts for Christmas, so we provided Christmas gifts for them,” Ruiz said.
The deputies collected donated toys from Los Angeles County Fire Station 33 for the victim’s family, according to Ruiz.
Lancaster Sheriff’s Station will distribute nearly 300 toys and canned foods to needy Lancaster families this Christmas Eve and Christmas day, Ruiz said.
“We’re just really grateful for the opportunity, from the toys that were donated over the previous three weeks, to be able to do something like this,” Ruiz said. “We’re looking forward to a very safe and giving holiday season.”