SFPD credits bystander with prevention of Pacific Heights kidnapping

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A man is under arrest after police say Pacific Heights residents helped a woman break free from him during an attempted kidnapping. (KGO-TV)

A woman's screams shattered the calm of a quiet San Francisco neighborhood, prompting a stranger to come to the rescue of a woman during an attempted abduction. It happened over the weekend as a woman was walking on Steiner Street in Pacific Heights.

RELATED: Witness stops attempted kidnapping in San Francisco

Thanks to the quick thinking of one man who was in the neighborhood, the victim is safe. Police wasted no time tracking down the suspect.

It was just before 9 p.m. Saturday on Steiner Street between Green and Vallejo streets. A woman was walking up the hill when a man grabbed her from behind and tried to put her in his truck.

David Covert was in his living room at the time. "I heard a woman scream really loudly for about seven, eight, nine, ten seconds," he said.

But it was apparently the actions of an approaching motorist that scared off the attacker. He turned on his brights and began honking his horn. The man ultimately let go of the victim.

"I think it's fair to say that were it not for their intervention, it's likely that he would have succeeded in his kidnap and would have actually taken the victim in the vehicle," said Sgt. Michael Andraychak of the San Francisco police department.

The suspect did get away, but not for long. Police won't say how, but they tracked him down the next day in Petaluma, where after a high-speed pursuit and collision, officers took him into custody.

"It's really frightening, I mean -- I assume my own safety but I guess I shouldn't," said San Francisco resident Aliah Singh.

People ABC7 News talked to, especially women who regularly walk at night in pacific Heights, are shaken by the news of an attempted kidnap. They say this is a good reminder to remain vigilant at all times.

"I try not to look at my phone and be aware of who's around me and what not," said Alex Ferroggiaro of San Francisco.

As for the suspect, police aren't releasing his name due to the ongoing investigation, but he is a 46-year-old man from Sonoma County.

Related Topics:
kidnappingattempted abductionabductioncrimeinvestigationSFPDgood samaritanwoman attackedpoliceSan Francisco
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