Reporting Andrea Menniti
MODESTO (CBS13) – Police say a Modesto teenager stopped the attempted kidnapping of her 8-year-old neighbor by a convicted sex offender.
“He got up and put me in his hands and tried to walk away,” the 8-year-old boy said.
Fear filled the boy as registered sex offender John Jenkins allegedly tried kidnapping him.
“I was scared,” the boy said.
The boy was playing basketball with children from the block in front of this home. The ball went over the fence and when the boy went to retrieve it, police say, the accused kidnapper attacked.
“She pulled me away so he couldn’t get me,” the boy said.
Thirteen-year-old Marisa Martinez quickly jumped into action.
“My instinct was to go over and help him,” she said. “I ran as fast as I can over, and I started pulling on him, and saying ‘let go of him’ and I started screaming for my mom. I think the dude got scared, and let go of him,” said Marisa.
Her mother, Kristen, called police and helped lead officers to Jenkins.
The children, however, noticed something was wrong before the attack. The suspected kidnapper was trying to break in next door. When Marisa told him to stop, she says he made inappropriate comments.
Kristen isn’t surprised her daughter came to the boy’s rescue.
“I think it was natural for her to try to do something to help,” said Kristen.
“It goes through my mind every day. What would have happened if I wasn’t out there,” said Marisa.
Everyone on the block is thankful the boy is safe, but the ordeal has left the youngster shaken.
“I’m a little scared to play outside still,” the boy said.
Jenkins remains locked up on charges of annoying or molesting a child and kidnapping.