Hayward girl saves father's life after violent attack

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- One of Hayward's highest honors went to a 12-year-old girl Tuesday night after she helped save her father's life after a violent attack.

Sarah Avalos was beaming when she received the Good Citizen Award for her bravery on March 15.

That day, the Avalos family came to Hayward's Ochoa Middle School to meet a man they thought was selling his car on Craigslist. But he had other plans. The man allegedly robbed them, and then shot Benjamin Avalos.

The father bled as the two sped away, while his then 11-year-old daughter dialed 911.

She described street signs and buildings they passed and police found them in just minutes.

"Dad wasn't in good shape, mom was hysterical, little brother was crying hysterically, but she was calm in the back seat. She's an amazing young woman," Hayward Police Department Sgt. Brian Maloney said.

Maloney nominated Sarah for the award.

She's the first recipient in more than 20 years and to say her parents are proud would be an understatement. "It makes me happy that they feel proud of me and that I am getting more successful in life," Sarah said.

"She saved my life, that's all I can say, she gave directions, guided the dispatcher," Benjamin said.

Police made an arrest in this case.

In the meantime, Sarah is considering a career in law enforcement.
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