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Neighbor stops kidnapping of girl, 6 on city's SW side | Crime

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Neighbor stops kidnapping of girl, 6 on city's SW side
Crime

APD says a man driving a van kidnapped a 6-year old girl on the city’s Southwest side Monday and was only stopped because a quick-thinking neighbor followed the van and called the police.

Police said at about 4:45 p.m. Monday, Phillip Garcia pulled the little girl into his blue van near Javier Way SW, near Unser and Gibson.

The girl was returning to her nearby home from a neighbor’s house, where she had been sent to pick up some tostadas.

A neighbor saw Garcia pull the girl into his van. He jumped into his own car and followed Garcia, while also calling 911.

Garcia crashed several times while trying to elude the neighbor, eventually coming to rest at 118th Street and Dennis Chavez Boulevard, about a mile and a half away from the girl’s house.

As Garcia fled the crash on foot, the neighbor reached into the van and pulled the girl out. Garcia came back to the van and tried to drive it away. Police, alerted by the neighbor’s  911 call, arrived quickly and arrested Garcia.

The girl told police she broke a fingernail in the van when it crashed. She also told them she bit the man who took her when he tried to put his hand over her face.

As noted in the criminal complaint, Garcia had a bite mark on his pinky and other injuries that appeared to come from a car crash.

Police said they found a broken fingernail in the front passenger's side of Garcia’s van – along with a bag of tostadas.

In the van they also found a bag containing a Leatherman tool, a single black glove, and a piece of orange strapping material about six inches long.

Near the crash scene, about 25 feet away, they also found a roll of clear packing tape and a tie-down strap hidden under a rock.

Garcia has been charged with kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence.

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